- Student Activities
About the TEDx Program
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
Meet the 2021 Speakers
All About Her: the Women Behind STEM
Shreya is a sophomore at Los Altos High School and the host of the podcast, All About Her, where she interviews women in STEM about their careers and experiences. Her talk discusses the disparities that are often covered up in the field and tells the stories of women in STEM around the world. Shreya’s inspiration was her own love for STEM and, more importantly, her confusion about the various different fields. She hopes to help others understand how to overcome similar obstacles while empowering women at the same time.
Why Technology Is the Only Solution to the Mental Health Crisis
Zain is a senior at Los Altos High School. He has published several mobile apps and has started several businesses. He runs his own social media channels to document his entrepreneurial journey. He is a firm believer in the power of technology to solve problems and positively disrupt society which he plans to discuss in his talk. In his spare time, Zain enjoys playing rock and metal guitar as well as playing competitive badminton.
Mindfulness: The Ground of Ethics
Charles Atkins is a senior at Los Altos High School. When he isn’t sprinting for the LAHS track team, he enjoys reading and writing. In middle school, he founded the blog Neologikon, which explores philosophy, literature, psychology, and history. Interested in the question of how best to live, and seeking the interconnection among philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and more, Atkins will examine in his talk the popularized Buddhist practice of mindfulness in an effort to recover its moral roots and its critical role in guiding people to be their best selves as well as to live good, moral lives.
Yao Yao Xiao
Yao Yao Xiao
Empower the Deaf Community and Reshape the Future of Accessibility
Born with sensorineural hearing loss, Yao Yao Xiao has had to adapt to life in a hearing world. She is an avid biker, and enjoys spending time meeting new people, writing poems or op-eds, and teaching her bunny new tricks. Now a senior at Los Altos High School, she is sharing her story and speaking out about the damaging stereotypes towards the deaf/hard of hearing community. Her hope is to spread awareness about the challenges students with disabilities face and shift the conversation towards how we can contribute to a future of accessibility for everyone.
The Future of Medicine: Computational Chemistry
Sarah Su is a sophomore at Los Altos High School with a love for all things chemistry whether it’s mixing together ingredients or performing organic chemistry research. As a high school researcher, she engages in organic chemistry research regarding antimicrobial resistance, anticancer therapy, molecular antiviral solutions, and applications of computational chemistry in small molecule inhibitors; her passion for medicine and research has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic where she’s been working on computational modeling of small molecule interactions with proteins indicated in the Sars-Cov-2 pathway for the purpose of finding a treatment. She hopes to be able to incite similar passion in others, as well as to increase education regarding the uses of computational chemistry for pressing medicinal issues.
Maria Fernanda Palacios
Maria Fernanda Palacios
Gentrification and the Bay Area's Original Investors
Maria Fernanda Palacios is a senior at Los Altos High School. She has always admired the technological advancements and changes occurring around her in Silicon Valley. Currently, she is a part of the sponsorship and outreach teams for Los Altos Hacks and aspires to study software engineering next year. Only recently did she realize how much her community's struggles were intertwined with the changes she had glorified all these years. Her interest in gentrification began after reading The Great Gatsby and stemmed out of the enigma that is the American dream. With this talk, she hopes to give insight into how gentrification impacts individuals and spark interest in exploring solutions to displacement caused by inevitable advancements.
It's All Connected
Harini Nagappan is a sophomore at Los Altos High School and she spends her free time reading, writing, baking, and hiking. Outside of school, Harini is a dedicated scout and an avid volunteer. Being a high schooler herself, she understands the pressure put on teenagers and the lifelong effect it has. Being a first-hand witness to the drawbacks of society, Harini hopes to fight against the stigma of stress and disabilities. Through her own personal experiences, she aims to talk about the domino effect stressed has on one's life and what we as a society can do to reverse this.
The Art of Impromptu
Karan Dalal is a junior at Homestead High School. After finding himself with a surplus amount of time from the distanced learning transition, Karan co-founded a "pet-tech" startup called PetCode. Through his experiences, he has come to understand the importance of unprepared speaking. During his talk, Karan will share some of his favorite tips and tricks to perfecting the art of impromptu.
Living While Black (in Los Altos)
Donna Young is a senior Executive with The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) who moved to California in 1978 and holds degrees from Stanford University and Berkeley. While her son was an LAHS student, she was active in local fund-raising and Parent-Teacher Association activities. Besides being a mom, one of her greatest personal achievements is training for and completing two marathons to raise $8,000 for the SF AIDS Foundation. She enjoys reading, playing the piano, outdoor activities, gardening, and is currently obsessed with Schitt’s Creek.
No Straight Lines
Richard Field was 7 years old when he decided he wanted to be a safari guide. In spite of being raised and educated in Australia, this desire only grew stronger. As soon as he finished university he left to start his life in the wilds of Africa. Since then Richard has lived a remarkable life and become regarded as one of Africa’s finest safari guides – trusted, loved and respected by safari operators and clients alike.
But it hasn’t been smooth sailing. Early on it appeared his career would be over after being attacked by a lion. It was an experience took Richard many years to come to terms with - the more he tried to “put it behind him”, the heavier the emotional baggage became. Richard eventually embraced the experience as an integral part of his life and he began to share the story whenever he could. It has since transformed him as a human and allowed him to positively impact many others around the world.
Richard has a real passion for sharing his story with high school students. As they launch into their own lives Richard understands that they will face their own lions along the way. He hopes that the perspectives and understandings that he shares will help them utilize those ‘lions’ to become the humans that they wish to be.
The Necessity to Confront Power Today: from Haiti to the USA
In this talk, LAHS teacher Seth Donnelly will share lessons he has learned from actively working in solidarity with the liberation movement in Haiti over the past 15 years and with liberation movements inside of the US over the past 30 years. He will discuss connections between these movements and highlight what young activists today can learn from them. Finally, he will make the case for how system change in the US is not only possible today, but an urgent necessity.