TEDxHarkerSchool 2016 features speakers, booths and mentors


Ashley Jiang

Senior Alexander Lam speaks about his experience in finding happiness as a Harker student. TEDxHarkerSchool took place on Saturday, Oct. 15.

by Nicole Chen and Zachary Hoffman

Harker students attended TEDxHarkerSchool to listen to innovative talks from a diverse range of speakers,to interact with local business owners and Silicon Valley professionals on Oct. 15.

The TEDx team started working on the logistics for the 2016 event over the summer with members split into the three main subteams of public relations, marketing and operations.

“We have members contact different speakers, booths and mentors, and that all starts in the summer,” Director of Marketing Kaitlin Hsu (11) said. “Once we get into the school year, that’s when marketing kicks in and we start doing advertisement, and everything start congealing. Everything we order in the summer like the food and merchandise is all coming in, and our speakers are getting confirmed.”

The event focused on a diverse array of speakers, ranging from renowned Stanford University economics professor Raj Chetty to piano prodigy Umi Garrett. Sarisha Kurup (12) spoke about using art to cope with tragedy, and Alexander Lam (12), discussed his endeavor for happiness in life and his growth over his years as a Harker student.

“I wanted to give a speech because I felt that, as a senior, I had a lot of advice to share with many of the underclassmen,” Alexander said. “I just wanted to share with my classmates how I matured throughout high school and give them some tips from a senior about how we can pursue happiness, be more grateful and live more whole-fully in life.”

Arthur Oung (10) felt that he gained knowlegde through listening to the speakers at the event.

“[The speakers] were very insightful,” Arthur said. “Especially coming from Harker students, they taught you a lot about what you can do with yourself and what you need to do.”

Students also visited booths with representatives from various local companies and startups.

The attendees had an opportunity to eat lunch with industry mentors from the Silicon Valley area. Grace Huang (9) attended lunch and was part of a group discussion with a representative from Google.

“The professional I met, he worked at google with ads, and he told us a lot about how google makes money,” Grace said. “We just basically talked about future innovations in the electronics field. He was talking about how Google technology and [the] internet might be used for security in the future.”

Some conversations extended topics discussed in speaker presentations.

“I heard someone talking about privacy and surveillance during lunch, a topic one of the speakers talked about,” Alexander said. “It was interesting to see people continue the conversations after the speeches. It shows that the speeches impacted them.”