KHS senior to give TED Talk at student event

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Like many high school students, Blayke Drury has seen quite a few TED Talks — the popular online mini-lectures devoted to “ideas worth spreading” that have sprung forth from what started in 1984 as a conference on technology, entertainment and design.

On Friday, the Keller High senior will give a TED Talk of her own for the TEDxKids @SMU event.

“My speech is, first, about the physical effects of lying — what happens in your body when you have two conflicting thoughts — and, second, how society has changed through technology in lying,” Drury said.

“I’ve always wondered why is it people who lie and lead bad lives seem to have bad health and is there a correlation? I found out there is,” she said.

The theme of the conference is “And then,” asking participants to consider what the future holds. That technology has allowed people to lie anonymously captured Drury’s imagination.

“Social media has made it easier to lie,” she said.

Drury submitted a 90-second speech along with the rest of her Academic Decathlon classmates at the request of teacher Shawna Lynch. In competition, Academic Decathlon team members must give a five minute prepared speech and a shorter extemporaneous speech.

Lynch said she sometimes uses TED Talks in her classroom and thought students could use the opportunity to craft and polish their speeches.

“I told them to pick something they were doing for Academic Decathlon and talk about how it applies to the real world,” she said.

Videos had to be submitted online in early September, so students didn’t have much time. Drury said she wrote her speech over a weekend and recorded it in the hallway outside the Academic Decathlon classroom.

Out of 30 videos submitted by youths ages 10 to 18, a steering committee for TEDxKids @SMU chose six finalists, along with adult speakers, said Christie Pearson, program coordinator.

Keller High freshman Kevin Kim was also a finalist for his video on bullying. Online voters selected three students to give three-minute versions of their speeches at TEDxKids @SMU. Adult speakers give 10 to 12 minute speeches.

Pearson said more than 2,000 votes were cast to determine the winning students. Only one vote was allowed per email account.

The event brings together 450 middle school students along with 90 mentors who are juniors and seniors in high school. Southern Methodist University is sponsoring the fifth-annual TEDxKids @SMU on Friday and TED@SMU for adults on Saturday at the Dallas City Performance Hall.

Because she is a speaker for the kids’ program, Drury will get free admission for herself and one family member to the adult program. She also will attend a dinner for speakers Saturday.

Pearson said the events are sold out, but the speeches on both days will be available online via a live stream at

The kids’ symposium is a half-day program with the first speaker scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Drury is set to speak third in the lineup.

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