I cannot express how impressed I was with the TEDx Manhattan Beach, “Journey to Purpose”, event this past weekend. It was a well-organized, thought-provoking conference filled with leading speakers, hands-on exhibits and talented entertainment.
Entertainment was a key element throughout the day. Exhibits were hands-on such as kids showing us how to make a “Squishy Circuit”, to collaborative panting on a Mural by Art Division, Recycling during lunch and walking though a Kelp Forest.
As we entered into the auditorium, a unique school band played the drums using water jugs later followed by bands such as the Mira Costa Sax Pack, the Young Musicians Performance Academy and the Mira Costa Percussion. There even was a group of young actors, ComedySportz that performed improv , making a story with audience suggestions.
Educational innovators were a big part of the program. Michael Horn spoke of student-centric educational systems and John Ratey, discussed the positive impact of exercise on children’s learning capacity. The Dancing Mathematicians, Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern, taught math combined with dance thus making math much more fun to learn and better understand the concepts. Plus they added their own “vaude-ville” style to their lesson, getting the audience up out of their seats. Shere Coleman, an artist and educator, spoke about the importance of allowing the children to have the chance to use their imagination and be creative. In conjunction to this thought, two Stanford graduates, shared their adventures in their “Spark Truck” across country teaching kids about creativity through “hands-on tinkering”. David Seidel who calls himself a Space Nut, believes that we must let children expand their imaginations so they cultivate the desire to explore and discover.
Barbara Patterson spoke of her personal journey that you go through life with an evolving purpose. Frank Baxter and Lainie Rowell spoke of learning integrating 21st Century technology and using technology to collaborate globally. Similarly Jack McManus and Eduardo Briceno emphasized on breaking out of the mold, using project-based teaching and growth mindset rather than emphasizing achievement so that the students get continually motivated.
Clayton Cameron, used music to master his craft of becoming “the Brush Master”, that rhythm surrounds all of us and can be used as a tool in life. Toni Yancey emphasized the importance of “Recess” in kids and adults, to instill movement, to make a healthier lifestyle which in turn will improve longevity.
Speaking of motivational speakers, Court Crandall, Emma Doyle and John Hall achieved in inspiring me with their stories. Court Crandall spoke about his project, “Free Throw”, which made a difference on the lives of eight high school students from Compton but ended making a bigger impression on him with the outcome. Emma Doyle, a confident 6th grader, who has found her passion in baking because she was given the chance to explore her talent and showing age does not matter in cultivating talent.
John Hall shared his personal journey in dealing with Autism which deeply touched my heart. He is proof that a low functioning toddler and labeled a “Special Needs” Child can overcome obstacles and be able to graduate to become a success in life. His determination proves that everything is possible.
Again for everyone who needs inspiration, I highly recommend all to get the chance to attend a TEDx event and/or watch to the TED videos. A minute is not wasted on what you will hear from these dynamic speakers, definitely “ideas worth sharing”!