The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics hosted “TEDxNCSSM” on April 13, 2013 as a celebration of human achievement and experience in a wide variety of fields. The Dean of Science, Dr. Amy Sheck, was the recipient of this TEDx license and served as the lead organizer for this conference – which was designed to emulate the celebrated format of “TEDTalks”. The organizing committee comprised solely of NCSSM students and played an instrumental role in inviting speakers and selecting audience members. This invitation-only event was capped at 100 attendees and included NCSSM students, Durham high school representatives (students and teachers), NCSSM faculty, and dignitaries from the Triangle area who have contributed significantly to the realm of education. The conference was designed to optimize interaction between speakers and audience members and to potentially spark new ideas from open discourse and facilitated discussion.

Meg Lowman is the director of the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. She is also Research Professor of Natural Sciences in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at NCSU, with focus on science communication to the public. Lowman has been called “the real-life Lorax” by National Geographic and “Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal for her pioneering work in canopy ecology research. For more than 30 years, she has designed hot-air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration to solve mysteries in the world’s forests, especially insect pests and ecosystem health. Working tirelessly on initiatives at home and abroad, “CanopyMeg” was a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar to India, and National Geographic awardee to conserve church forests in Ethiopia. Lowman has authored more than 100 scientific publications and her first book, Life in the Treetops, was reviewed in the NewYork Times Sunday Book Review. This talk was recorded at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)