The age of social media has created an environment where people most often talk (or type) AT one another rather than engaging in meaningful and effective communication. All too often, this results in people being unable to engage in civilized discussions with somebody with a different perspective.
As ACS Athens prepares young people with the skills needed to improve life and living on the planet, one group in particular - the Ted-Ed team - is honing the craft of developing sound ideas worth spreading, learning how to give and receive constructive feedback, and delivering persuasive talks publicly.
Inspired by the well-known Ted Talks, Ted-Ed is a holistic program that provides a step-by-step process to guide students while they create, enhance and rehearse their final talks. There is no mandated curriculum, but instead stems from the passion of the students. Ranging in age from 12-18, the Ted Ed team at ACS Athens includes approximately 25 students who last year focused their attention on topics such as movie magic with music and emotions, quantum physics and climate change, and normalization and how it impacts our society.
As part of the process, students are paired with mentors that serve as guides - both on the subject matter of their presentation as well as on the presentation itself. In the past, ACS Athens faculty and staff have served as mentors, but this year the group sees an opportunity to also connect with alumni.
“ACS Athens faculty and staff provide a wonderful cadre of support for our Ted-Ed team, but we thought it would be even more inspiring if we could add ACS Athens alumni to our mentor ranks so that students could both benefit from their expert guidance, but also from seeing the possibilities that are in their future,” explained Christina Rocha, one of the ACS Athens advisors guiding the school’s Ted-Ed team.
Mentors would need to be identified and matched by the end of January to ensure that the students have ample time to incorporate input into their presentations.
Supporting these students as a mentor would give alumni a front-row seat to work with a team whose dedication has inspired others both locally and internationally, resulting in exciting collaborations, including a local initiative that will see the ACS Athens team working with the team from nearby Lycee Franco-Hellenique (the French school in Agia Paraskevi).
The ACS Athens Ted-Ed team also reached across borders to facilitate an international exchange of ideas through an Erasmus partnership where they have worked alongside students from Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Italy. In fact, the team has an opportunity to travel to Perugia, Italy, this coming spring in a culmination of their efforts to present their final talks on an international stage.
“We have seen these students transform as they navigate the process, and the prospect of presenting their final talks in Italy is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” shared Stavi Dimas, who works with Ms. Rocha to advise the team. “Since we are an American school, our team does not receive the EU financial support to attend this event that the other schools do, so our team has been working on fundraising here on campus. They have made a good start, but we have further to go to enable our entire team to travel and stay in Italy next spring for the event.”
To continue raising funds to make this trip possible, the Ted-Ed team will be at the upcoming Christmas Bazaar scheduled to take place on Sunday, December 4th, from 12-6 p.m. at ACS Athens. Given their talents, we won’t be surprised if they gather a crowd while making a very compelling case to earn our support.
If the team is able to attend the event in Italy, a second final presentation event will be hosted at ACS Athens so that fellow students and parents can also see their compelling presentations.
To learn more about supporting the Ted-Ed team, including mentoring, please contact Ted Ed advisor for the Academy, Christina Rocha at email@example.com.
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