Press Release

NASA Team Encourages Teens to “Get Connected” at TEDxYouth@NASA

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2011
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HAMPTON, Va. – Hundreds of students from Hampton Roads will spend their Saturday evening at the second annual TEDxYouth@NASA event on Nov. 19, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Virginia Air & Space Center (VASC) in downtown Hampton.

TEDxYouth@NASA is one of more than a 100 TEDx events happening all around the world coinciding with Universal Children’s Day, from Nov. 19 – 21. These events are designed to empower and inspire young people. TEDxYouth@NASA is hosted by NASA’s Langley Research Center, the VASC and the National Institute of Aerospace.

“Get Connected,” the theme of this year’s TEDxYouth@NASA, is meant to inspire teens to explore and exceed their own boundaries to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and potentially make a career out of their studies. Area school districts nominated about 300 students to participate in the invitation-only event. Interested viewers can watch live from home on the day of the event. The event will be streamed over the Internet from 5 – 8 p.m. here:

“Many receiving this invitation overlook the opportunity to reach bright students who do not see the relationship between STEM studies and what they like to do,” said event organizer, Hayley Foster. “We will take the science and math minded, but we are also reaching out to the creative and others to show them that we need the writers and the artists and the dreamers. We want them to see where they fit (and where there is meaningful employment) in areas like science, technology, engineering and math.”

TEDxYouth@NASA will feature an array of speakers including Rita J. King, Executive VP for Business Development at Science House, the creator of the Imagination Age, and Futurist at the National Institute of Aerospace; Bonnie St. John, the first African-American to win Olympic medals in ski racing; Joey and Jeff Anderson, who use cooking oil waste from restaurants as biodiesel; and students from The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Va.

There will also be demonstrations and exhibits where students will learn what NASA has to do with the future of NASCAR, watch a printer create a 3D object, talk to neuroscientist Dr. Paul Aravich, who will let students touch a real human brain and more. A DJ, scavenger hunt and prizes will follow.

Additional speakers include Patrick Henry, a professional speaker and songwriter; Darcy Dean, who founded Stanford University’s Model United Nations club; poet and musician Omekongo Dibinga; homeschooler and environmentalist, Rhiannon Harvey; unschooled Luke Iha; Mark Moore, who has been designing advanced aircraft concepts at NASA for over 27 years; Simon Nance, training manager for STIHL Inc.; musician, student and teacher, Austin Sens; Tiffany Shlain, a filmmaker, artist, founder of The Webby Awards, and co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences; and Hampton student, Tessa Solee.

To learn more about the event, please visit the Facebook event page for TEDxYouth@NASA at:

25 years ago, TED started as a four-day conference in California, and has grown to support the world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. Conference presentations are made available for free at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, All Gore, Jane Goodall, Sir Richard Branson, and many others. The “x” in TEDxNASA indicates it is an independently organized TED event.

For more information about NASA’s Langley Research Center, please go to:

To learn more about the Virginia Air & Space Center, please go to:

For more information about the National Institute of Aerospace, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.