Hi! We’re Keya, Jania, and Brianna. As ScriptEd students at High School for Global Citizenship, we are learning how to program and create new, innovative projects through code. During a ScriptEd session, we made a website as part of our application to the TED Youth Conference, which this year, was held at the Brooklyn Museum across from our school.
A TED conference is a day of short, interesting talks. The theme of this year’s TED Youth was “Worlds Imagined”. We were hoping to get ideas about how we could use our new coding powers in creative ways to change the world.
Upon entering the Brooklyn Museum, we were given special tags that had our names on them, as well a program that gave us short bios of the speakers we were going to listen to.
We walked into the auditorium which was filled with several hundred students from around the Northeast. After a short introduction, the talks began. Some of our favorite speakers were: Sicily Kolbeck, Jennifer Mascia, Ruddy Roye, Brian Dettmer, Jaap De Roode and Lilian Chen.
We’d like to share some of what inspired us the most:
Sicily Kolbeck is a fourteen year old teen from Georgia who built her own house. Started as a school project, Sicily worked on this 128- square foot house, which she nicknamed “Tiny House,” with the help of her father. However, after his passing in 2013, Sicily made this accomplishment a symbol of remembrance for her father. This made Sicily famous — she visited the White House, explaining how at a tender age, she was able to put in the work to build this amazing, tiny house that sits in her backyard. Her success stood out to me because she was able to come up with this idea and stick with it. Her determination and hard work helped to inspire and reinforce for me: if I stay dedicated, I can design and build any kind of thing that I want with code.
Ruddy Roye walks the streets of Brooklyn to discover stories of people that are often overlooked. Ruddy is a photojournalist from Jamaica, and the (often heartbreaking) tales told to him might never have been shared if he had not published these stories and images on his online porfolio. This activity has led him to be closer to his neighbors and allowed others to open their eyes to the different problems that people face, some that are impossible to get over. This gave me inspiration to share situations occurring in my community online and let their voices be heard.
Lilian Chen, also known as Milktea to her online fans, started a three-year trek at age 17, playing the game Super Smash Brothers Melee in competitions all around the country. Today, as Lilian holds the title of being the best female player in Super Smash Brothers, she works to fight against sexism. Many males often criticize females for playing games just because they are of the opposite sex. As she continues to master this game, and prove them wrong, she has earned the respect of many. A number of gamers who are women have been influenced by her as inspires and her fights for equality in the gaming world. Computer Science is also an activity that has been traditionally dominated by males. Lilian Chen is an inspiration to me because she shows that females can explore and succeed at what we love — no matter what it is.
Kenneth Shinozuka: Kenneth created a heel-attaching sensor that sends out alerts whenever his grandfather gets out of bed. He won the first prize for the Scientific American Science in Action Award and hopes to bring the sensor to market. It was really great to see him coding something that could directly benefit his family.
Sarah Bergbreiter: Sarah packs advanced technologies into tiny robots that can overcome obstacles 80 times their height. She made many tiny robots, many of which resemble bugs. We got to see two videos: the first one was a roach running over obstacles without falling and the other one displayed a roach that jumped about five to six feet off the ground in response to light. This was a fascinating example of programing for physical objects.
Overall, our day spent at TED Youth was incredible. We learned about lots of things we did not know exist and made new friends in the process. Alslo, we also saw a lot of really creative uses of technology that gave us inspiration and ideas for coding projects as we continue to develop our skills in ScriptEd and beyond.
Check out ScriptEd’s Facebook album for all of the photos and more from our exciting day at TEDYouth!