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Academy Scholars Attend TEDxPenn

On April 1, the Academy Scholars, accompanied by program directors Sue Negro (Upper School math teacher) and Mark Stephens (Middle School history teacher), attended TEDxPhiladelphia at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Pennsylvania's campus. The theme for the day was “Rise and Run.”

“Our theme is intentionally polysemic—the coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase,” the event website reads. “On the one hand, rise and run is a reference to the mathematical description of slopes, positive growth, upward trends. On the other hand, rise and run can be interpreted literally, as in the case of someone who is motivated to wake up and do what he/she loves to do.”

Speakers included Sagi Haviv (graphic designer), Araba Ankuma (visual studies student), Dan Everett (linguist and author), Hyungsoo Kim (entrepreneur), Katherine Milkman (behavioral economist), L. Scott Levin (ortopaedic surgeon), Tia Kansara (sustainability designer), Dwayne Booth (editorial cartoonist), Rachel Hwang (modern cartographer), Davis Smith (social impact entrepreneur), Vijay Balasubramanian (theoretical physicist), Megan Ryerson (transportation engineer). Performers included Philadanco (breaking barriers and bridging cultural divides through dance), Brayton Bowman (making pop music unlike anything you are used to), and Joe Castillo (telling powerful stories through the art of sand).

GA students Luke Abraham '20, Kristine Wang '19, Daryl Dohner '19, Livy Negro '19, Quinton Ritchie '18, Anjalee Bhuyan '18, Haley Aronow '18, Jakob Slifker '20, Decker Wentz '17, and Braden Cody '17 were in attendance.

"Going to the TED Talk was honestly such an amazing experience because of the wide range of speakers and performers," said Wang. "The event wasn't one dimensional at all, and instead really opened my eyes to concepts and ideas that I would have never even bothered to think about!"

“I really liked the opportunity to hear from so many eloquent experts from so many different fields," said Cody. "The ortho-plastic surgeon who performed the first bilateral hand transplant was a definite highlight, along with the ex-missionary who got converted to atheism by the very people he was supposed to convert.”

"I had a great time listening to all the insightful and inspirational talks and speakers," said Dahner. "Ranging from a logo designer who has to work to please everyone to a political cartoonist whose job is to offend everyone, the presentations covered many disciplines and were captivating."

"I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to such profound presenters!" said Ritchie. "They were very informative and inspiring. Learning about the complications of logo development to a surgeon who performed a double hand transplant! Being around such motivational people is the first step to becoming successful in the world today."

"I really enjoyed being with such a great group of people!" said Mr. Stephens. "The speakers were very accessible before the talks and during the break. A people living without any words for numbers or colors...in 2017?' What a TED Talk that was!"

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