Winter Park Campus TEDx Event Entertains and Educates Students, Employees and the Community

Nearly 40 students, employees and community members gathered at the Winter Park Campus on Friday, April 20, 2018, to learn from an astonishing group of speakers who shared bold ideas, tough truths and jaw-dropping creative visions during Valencia’s TEDx Program.

As they entered, attendees were invited to see themselves projected on the official TED 2018 stage in Vancouver by using green-screen technology. Or, they could pick anywhere they would like to visit in the world, and the green screen put them right in the action.

Guests could also experiment with augmented reality by scanning a movie poster with their cell phones and seeing it come to life on their phone screens. Just a quick scan of a King Kong poster and the giant ape was in action in the middle of New York City.

If Kong didn’t scare the attendees away, they could place their cell phones in specially-made glasses that allowed them to have a virtual reality experience in the Atlas V rocket, in a cockpit with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, on a Hawaiian beach, courtside of the Utah Jazz watching Donovan Mitchell’s winning dunk, inside a Salvador Dali painting or in an action movie being chased by aliens in a subway.

“I like seeing virtual reality becoming more widespread and all the technology,” shared attendee Paul Cushman, who heard about the event through a Valencia student.

And Jayson Ferguson, an East Campus student, explained that he loved his virtual vacation in Hawaii. “It was beautiful,” he said.

With pizza and treats in hand, guests then viewed TED Talks from TED 2018: The Age of Amazement conference, which was held in Vancouver Tuesday, April 10 through Saturday, April 14, 2018.

One of Jayson’s favorite presentations was from Mark Pollock and Simone George. Mark was the first blind person to race to the South Pole. Then, at age 34, he was left paralyzed after falling from a second-story window and breaking his back. Now, he and his fiancee, Simone, are finding and connecting with people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis. Mark is exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery, combining an innovative electrical stimulator over his spinal cord while walking hundreds of thousands of steps in his robotic legs.

Participants also heard other TED Talks, such as one by Dylan Marron, who takes complicated social issues and finds accessible ways to talk about them through interviews, short-form videos and satire. He is the host and producer of the podcast “Conversations with People Who Hate Me,” where he calls up people who wrote him negative or hateful messages on the internet. “In the end, I’m trying to turn the internet into a place where we can connect and learn, not divide,” Dylan said.

For more information on the conference, click here.

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