CHS TEDx conference


By Julia Heimlich, Features Editor

Next month, 100 lucky students will be able to witness the CHS auditorium as it transforms from an empty set of seats and a stage into a jam-packed captivating center of inspiration.

Led by CHS’s Think Big Club, the TEDxChurchillHighSchool conference March 7 from 3 to 8 p.m will host a variety of speakers and new technology, which will be introduced to the first 100 students who applied.

“By bringing a TEDx event to Churchill, current TED fans will be able to experience a live and more personal event,” said senior Anand Upender, who cofounded Think Big along with seniors Sriya Movva and Erik Johnson. “More students will be able to learn from these inspiring talks in general.”

According to Upender, it was nearly eight months ago that he began to piece the TEDx event together.

“The actual curating process was not too difficult,” Upender said. “It involved a ton of emails and a lot of denials, but we are still getting speakers who would love to come out to our event.”

According to the TEDxChurchill website, a wide range of D.C.-based experts, from musicians to filmmakers to entrepreneurs, will be presenting at the event.

“I am most excited to hear Heather Arnold talk about the intersection of community and food,” Upender said. “She works in the D.C. design group, Street Sense, and does some really amazing work on making vibrant communities using retail and restaurant design.”

Other speakers include filmmaker and musician Rohit Colin Rao, whose first feature film won Best in Show in the D.C. Film Festival, as well as social entrepreneur Shahab Kaviani, who has experience starting, scaling and exiting companies.

“Usually these events are held for the public and are widely known through the Internet, so the fact that we can be able to say we hosted a Ted Talk as a high school is pretty incredible,” said senior Nina Min, who signed up for the event.

According to Upender, three-dimensional printers and liquid nitrogen ice cream stations will be available to test at the event as well.

“It’s cool that students will be so exposed to professionals from various fields,” Movva said. “Our goal is to get students motivated to take initiative and make their ideas become something. We want them to broaden their horizons and expand their knowledge through this event.”