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Novi TED helps develop research skills

Junior Esha Sopory and Sarvesha Srungavarapu got inspired from other schools to start a TED club.
Junior Esha Sopory and Sarvesha Srungavarapu got inspired from other schools to start a TED club.

Novi TED is a new interest group that allows students to explore ideas related to Technology, Entertainment, and Design. The first meeting took place on Nov. 10. Juniors Sarvesha Srungavarapu and Esha Sopory were inspired to found the group after seeing other schools start up different chapters of TED. 


“The TEDx organization has been around for quite some time. Schools have been committed to starting chapters like we’re trying to do here,” Srungavarapu said.


Sopory said that Novi TED is not really about public speaking, it’s more about the principles of the interest group. 


“Novi TED is focusing on building the skills of students by focusing on the three main pillars of TED which are technology, entertainment, and design, which specifically are related to TEDx or TEDed programs,” Sopory said. “For example, we looked more at analyzing or understanding what exactly TED is. Next meeting, we’ll be looking more at researching ideas and exploring the importance of these principles and then hopefully build up those skills so they can be applied in real-life scenarios.” 


Srungavarapu agreed, stating the experiences members gain can be applied in many different ways.


“We’re trying to focus on the basic core principles, of not only public speaking but exactly how these four principles can be applied to your life. For example, research as we’re doing in our next meeting. TED isn’t just going to be about public speaking or presenting yourself. It can be applied in a thousand different ways than you’ll probably see in your everyday school life. That’s why we’re trying to build on these core principles. We want to make people realize how fun these principles are,” Srungavarapu said.


Sopory said that for their next meeting, they were hoping to incorporate doing research in a fun way through an escape room. 


“We’ll be talking about the ideas of research and how important they are. In future meetings we’re hoping to build on more ideas related to this, like public speaking strategies,” Sopory said. “We’re also looking into potentially hosting a showcase for students to show the skills they’ve learned in different mediums however they wish to express themselves, to explore exactly what principles they’ve learned and show that to the community.” 


Research was one of the primary reasons librarian Bethany Bratney agreed to sponsor the interest group. 


 “I think it’s cool to give students an opportunity to engage with something they’re passionate about. I think the idea of students working on research and presentation skills with a topic that they are personally very invested in is one of the best ways to practice and learn research and presentation skills,” Bratney said. “ I also think it’s really nice that this is not a competition-based club. I think those can be intimidating for a lot of kids. I think that it’s pretty awesome to have this opportunity that is low pressure, but potentially high reward.”


Srungavarapu said TED Novi is definitely open to all students. 


“I think the main group that would be attracted to this club are those who resonate with the main pillars of TED: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. People who like building up teamwork skills, public speaking, and collaboration skills would also be interested,” Srungavarapu said. 


Sopory said people who are introspective would also benefit from the club.


“Another thing that is held strongly in the whole idea of TED is being able to look at your experiences and find the lessons from what you’ve learned and be able to see what exactly has made you come this far,” Sopory said. 


Srungavarapu and Sopory have multiple goals they’ve set for NoviTED.


“In five years we’re hoping that the TED interest group will become established as a club. We also hope that we can host a showcase annually as we mentioned earlier. We hope to have a lot of participants and to have a lot of collaborations with the title organization itself. We hope to highlight students who really work hard to build on those skills,” Srungavarapu said. “We’re hoping that all the people who joined today will be able to confidently say that they feel like they’re building on themselves, not just public speaking, but also in general as a person. That’s what we’re really hoping for.” 


NoviTED’s next meeting is Dec. 14.


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Sarayu Vemula, Staff Writer
Sarayu Vemula is a 10th grade student at Novi High School and this is her first year of Journalism. She loves to write mystery stories and hopes to be a successful author someday. She also tends to have a lot of ideas on how to incorporate things in writing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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