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ACT students take centre stage to present TED talks on climate change

13 Aug 2020

Climate change TED Talks

Three Gungahlin College students and a student from Amaroo School are busily preparing for their TED talk debut on Friday 14 August. They are part of the TEDxCanberraCountdown event ‘Flattening the Climate Curve’, an ideas challenge aimed at young people with unique ideas for climate change.

The participants were given the challenge to form an idea within the areas of nature, transport, energy, materials or food that could cause a positive effect for climate change.

Max and Philip, both in year 12 at Gungahlin College, are presenting as a pair and were excited to take part in the opportunity to improve their public speaking skills and the explore the area of climate change in a meaningful way.

“I’m trying to improve my public speaking and when you look at the way TED talk presenters speak it seems completely natural to them. To be able to do something I’m passionate about while also improving my public speaking skills, I can’t really say no to that,” said Max.

For Philip a passion for advanced computing and software engineering gives him the possibility to bring their TED talk idea - an Uber style service using only electric vehicles - to life.

Max and Philip were interested in the topic of transport for their idea as it’s important to their demographic who are starting to drive their own vehicles.

“Right now, transport is Canberra’s largest producer of emissions because our electricity is one hundred percent renewable. With transport every single person can do something to help, it’s not something you need to rely on a big government to do. To be able to apply this idea to everyone, and especially to our demographic, is what made it stand out,” said Max.

Gemma is in year 11 at Gungahlin College and as a fan of TED talks was really excited to be given the opportunity to present one herself, particularly on the topic of climate change.

“Throughout high school if I had any opportunity to do a speech, I would always pick climate change. My idea is around energy and in basic terms it’s a community centre where people can visit and explore the different renewable energy solutions. I think people can often get scared by the cost of [renewable energy], but don’t realise the savings and the benefits to the environment,” said Gemma.

Also exploring the topic of energy in her presentation is year 9 Amaroo School student, Isabelle. She will be exploring the idea of biodegradable solar panels which are cost effective and can be installed in any location.

“I think it’s important that we start finding ways to make sure that we have a source of renewable energy which is not going to cause waste after it’s been used. Having solar panels which can be rolled out anywhere and onto any surface means that we can rely solely on solar electricity. It can also help remote communities who can have a harder time finding ways to rely on renewable energy, which I think is a big issue,” said Isabelle.

All of the students are looking forward to their presentations and the opportunity to participate in a unique TED talk, which will be presented virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The TED talk event will be presented live from 5.00pm to 7.30pm on Friday 14 August. Registration is free through Eventbrite or Hopin and the presentation will be available after the event for streaming on a range of platforms