Centurions entertain audience at College’s first TED talk

The College recently held its first independent TEDxYouth event, giving away 100 free tickets to students and members of the local community.

TED is a non-profit organisation that aims to share ideas through short but powerful talks, and the event in the Sundial Theatre (Friday, 10 May), was no different. Speakers came from a range of cutting edge industries, including aircraft development, pharmaceutical research, and air crash investigation.

Students Joseph Butterfield and Lorissa Farrell also featured in the guest line up, presenting high level concepts based on their own Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) research into space travel and DNA modification.

“When I first got up there it was quite daunting, but when you know your topic you stop caring about who’s listening and focus on what you have to say.  Afterwards one young person who spoke to me was thrilled by the idea of travelling to Mars whilst another person challenged me on the merits of funding such a journey,” says Joseph.

Lorissa too hopes to share her ideas about DNA modification will reach a wider audience in future: “When we got to the halfway point I felt like I could have done it in front of an even bigger group of people.”

“I’ve got some really amazing and supportive teachers who attended the talk,” says Lorissa, adding “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take biology, but talking to my tutor reignited my passion for medicine.”

Joseph adds that his Project Tutor did everything from checking paragraphs to helping him contact the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Lorissa and Joseph will be applying to Imperial College London and Bristol University, to study medicine and engineering, later this year.

Vice Principal Matt Reynolds was responsible for organising TEDx: “Our professional friends, and especially our students, presented brilliantly. It’s a big deal to perform in front of 100 people in this sort of professional conference setting.”

“What a great night. Roll on another TEDx next year!”

For more information about this story please contact izaac.cole@cirencester.ac.uk.