• April 6, 2018
    Updated April 12, 2018 / July 5, 2018

    Sophomore organizes TEDxYouth event for April 11

    Matthew Hornak Upper St. Clair High School hosted a TEDxYouth event with the theme, “Youth Perspectives,” on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at the high school. The event – TEDxYouth@UpperSaintClair – was organized by sophomore Matthew Hornak as part of his International Baccalaureate-MYP Project.

    “It has always been a dream of mine to give a TEDx talk, and I am more than happy to see others with the same dream get the chance to take part in it,” Matthew said. “After all, giving passionate people the chance to spread new ideas and enter a new environment will not only help each speaker but everyone who has the chance to attend or view our event.”

    TEDxYouth@UpperSaintClair featured talks by several Upper St. Clair students and teachers including seniors Sydney Closser, Daniel Colaianni, Daniel Speer, Brandon Novak, Abby Matheny, Spencer Miller and Krisha Monpara; sophmores Vivek Babu and Sunny Chai; and teachers Russ Hoburg, chemistry; Fred Peskorski, technology education; and Leah Humes, social studies.

    “In this first time endeavor for the USCHS community, this TEDx event will focus on youth perspectives,” Matthew said. “We hope to explore how children affect the world and how the world affects them, what children think, and how our world changes with them.”

    In addition to live presenters, the event included videos from other TEDx Talks including the following:

    One hundred members of the school community were able to attend the TEDxYouth event. Each talk was filmed and uploaded to the TEDxYouth YouTube page. In addition, the program was streamed live on Channel 17 from the school. Watch the TEDXYouth talks online:

    “It has been a pleasure to build this event and tailor it to the unique environment of Upper St. Clair,” Matthew said. “We hope to see this event continue in our community as a tradition and outlet for our innovative students and staff.”

    Upper St. Clair High School administrators have worked to create a school culture that empowers student leadership within and beyond the school walls.

    “It is critical for learners to have an opportunity to be empowered, and we are proud to serve a school that’s committed to this sort of student experience,” Dr. Timothy Wagner, associate principal for program planning and innovation, said. “As a learner, Matt is able to develop leadership skills and approaches to thinking and learning that will serve him well in his life beyond USCHS. In addition, our entire school community benefits from this project as TEDx, an internationally regarded program, highlights the great thinking of students and faculty in a unique way.” 

    TEDx TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

    The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences.

    At TEDx events, a screening of TED Talks videos — or a combination of live presenters and TED Talks videos — sparks deep conversation and connections at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, under a free license granted by TED.

    According to the TED Talks website, “Youth events are one of our most creative TEDx event types, since they are organized by, or catered toward, kids. As you might guess, these events are all about imagination and having fun.”