Watch "Follow your bliss" Conference Videos Below

TEDxLakeTravisHigh is an independently organized event with the spirit of TED itself: focused on the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately, the world. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is known worldwide for its conferences, the exemplary TED talks it shares online at ted.com, and the people and causes it champions. TEDx events are modeled after the TED format, a selection of short, carefully prepared talks on a wide range of ideas related to a theme, in order to foster learning, inspiration, and wonder and to provoke conversations that matter.

The vision for this year's TEDxLakeTravisHigh began developing this past summer, when I had the idea of wanting students to experience 21st Century learning in a real way, on a real stage, for a real audience, not only for a teacher in a classroom. I approached my instructional coach, Tara Banton, early last Fall with an idea for live presentations of student research projects that would spark curiosity, require rigor, and be relevant to the changing world around us. The thought of hosting a student-led, student-organized TEDx event seemed unrealistic at the time, but after applying for and being granted a license, and with the encouragement of my Principal, Kim Brents, the project began. Tara has worked diligently over the last 8 months helping me shape the vision, refine the process, and manage the details of today's event. My students and I both have learned so much along the way. And here we are, finally. The day has arrived! 

Today's theme of mythologist Joseph Campbell's advice to "Follow Your Bliss" has even worked its way into the energy and creativity that have made today possible. Watching my students learn and grow in self-identity throughout this process has become part of my own bliss. What is bliss, you ask? Let's explore the idea today. The student speakers, the student leadership teams, and Tara and I, couldn't be more proud and excited to bring you our program today. We know you will be impressed and engaged, and we hope our talks will inspire your own curiosity, creativity, and bold ideas. Thank you for sharing the day with us!