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Inside AP English: Class of 2025 TedTalks

Inside AP English: Class of 2025 TedTalks

Written by Lillian Baker '25 

Anticipation rises as junior Taylor Stensgaard approaches the front of the classroom. With notecards and clicker in hand, she silently rehearses specific lines from her TedTalk as Mrs. Brooks prepares the slideshow. The audience goes silent and all eyes turn to the screen. Taking a deep breath, she begins. 

Every year during the fourth quarter, each junior taking Mrs. Shannon Brooks’ AP English Language and Composition class must give a “TedTalk,” or an engaging presentation, on the topic of his or her choosing. This multi-step project requires juniors to take deep dives into their subjects, write detailed essays and memorize speeches, incorporating images, statistics, and peer engagement. Due to the high anticipation surrounding these presentations, students and faculty alike gather to listen and learn. 

This year, students’ presentations spanned various topics, such as the controversy around electric cars, the benefits of Korean skincare, and government corruption. “I talked about the ethics of social media and new marketing tactics within the internet,” Stensgaard said. Her TedTalk was especially notable because she chose to present first. “Standing up there was very nerve-racking, but once I started talking, it became easier to rely on what I had already practiced.” The long hours of preparation paid off - Stensgaard’s TedTalk was a success. 

Another TedTalk presenter, junior Ella Allen, addressed the rising presence of human trafficking in Houston and left the audience pondering the relevance of such an inhumane yet unseen market. “I am very passionate about this subject, so whenever I began to write my presentation, I became more excited to share what I had learned with others,” Allen said. She also shared that although she initially felt nervous, her decision to present a topic so near to her heart outweighed any hesitancy. “I ended up really enjoying the TedTalk because it challenged me to grow in my research abilities and as a public speaker.” 

TedTalks gave the junior class a unique opportunity to discover what they are passionate about and educate others around them. The annual tradition, anticipated by both students and faculty, encourages and challenges students on many different levels, and the class of 2025 exceeded all expectations.