A Problem-Finder. And A Problem-Solver.

A former Trinity School student is both a problem-finder and a problem-solver. For his Capstone project (the culminating experience of his sixth grade year), AH devised a system to solve the age-old problem of the lost and found. You can watch his 5 minute presentation (with a 5 minute Q&A that follows) which illustrates his prototype: simply put, AH devised a way to use QR codes to systematically solve an issue associated with lost jackets at Trinity School.

AH’s presentation and his follow up meetings with administrators at Trinity were so impressive that I encouraged him to apply to speak at an incredible event aimed at promoting the ideas of playing, building, reaching, and learning. Within two days, AH applied to speak at this conference which is positioned as “a platform for facilitating opportunities to empower kids and support authentic learning.” I think AH’s passion, problem finding and solving, and innate curiosity about the world make him an excellent candidate. I have shared my endorsement of him below in hopes that it will be shared with members of the TEDxKids@BC Team.

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I am writing to support AH’s application to speak at TEDxKids@BC in September. AH submitted his application on July 30th, and I truly believe that AH embodies the life metaphors and themes which your event is centered upon. AH is a rising seventh grader who plays, builds, reaches, and learns in myriad ways…both inside and outside of the classroom. I am most impressed with his ability to speak about his passions (from technology to design to athletics to music) with confidence, humor, and clarity. In the past six months, I have seen AH perform in The Mikado in front of an audience of 300, explain his lost/found logistics system to 50 classmates, and most recently, persuade the Academic Leadership and Administrative Team at Trinity School to consider taking his lost and found prototype to a full-scale model within one academic year.

AH describes himself as someone who is “most passionate about school, because I love to learn and express myself, especially when it comes to technology and academics.” When I mentioned the opportunity to apply to speak at your event, AH switched from summertime mode and within three hours emailed a draft of his application. His enthusiasm and confidence is a model for his peers and for the many adults as well. AH would be a solid addition to the group of speakers at TEDxKids@BC because as a rising seventh grader who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, AH…

…is someone who PLAYS FOR LIFE. Although his main interests are in the world of technology, he is one who loves the outdoors and no doubt, gains inspiration from all that nature can teach him.

…is someone who BUILDS FOR PASSION. He is a risk-taker and combines multiple passions seamlessly because he is willing to devote time to things that both interest and intrigue him. In his application to your event, AH wrote of his interest in Make Magazine. He explains that experts provide instructions on how to make everything from everything from everyday items to more sophisticated equipment such as a sous vide emersion cooking bath. In face, this Spring, I made such a machine using components sourced from as far as Australia nad China. This project combined my love of cooking with my interest in technology.” Clearly, his creativity knows no bounds.

…is someone who REACHES FROM THE HEART. AH graduated from Trinity School in May and his interest in continuing his project at his elementary school is about giving to a school which gave to him for three years. AH’s excitement about his lost/found logistics system is based on the fact that he is a problem-finder and problem-solver. He wants to develop a system that will help a community which he cares deeply about.

…is someone who is LEARNING TO BE. Like so many, AH’s innate curiosity leads him to discover amazing things about the world around him and about himself. A goal of his is to improve his public speaking skills and better connect with audiences. As you will see in a presentation he gave to classmates in May, AH is a strong presenter (and resilient when things didn’t go perfectly during the presentation — see 3:40 in the video). Even though he is confident, AH is not one who lacks humility.

I hope you will consider AH’s application to speak at TEDxKids@BC. Not only would he dedicate himself to the endeavor, but he would also gain so much from the experience.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

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10 thoughts on “A Problem-Finder. And A Problem-Solver.

  1. Hi Mary,
    I have just watched Andrew’s presentation on YouTube and would absolutely agree with you on his suitability to present at the TedXKids BC event. I would go further and say that Chris Anderson should consider having him present at the full TED conference as he represents all the good qualities that we should be looking for in tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.

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  3. Malcolm,

    Thank you for reading my post and taking the time to not only post a comment but write a follow-up post (and open letter to Chris Anderson) on your blog. I am very proud of Andrew and the work he has accomplished in his time at Trinity. Your endorsement of him, his work, and his potential as a speaker will mean so much to him. It certainly means a lot to me!

    Last year, I read -The Age of the Unthinkable- by Joshua Cooper Ramo and Andrew’s project and willingness to think “outside the box” reminded me of so many passages in Ramo’s book. (If you haven’t read it, it’s worth the read!). As I think about this experience for Andrew, I certainly see it as a jumping-off point. Where will he go from here? He is certainly creating a different resume…

    From -Age of the Unthinkable- :
    “The future demands a different resume. Today the ideal candidates for foreign-policy power should be able to speak and think in revolutionary terms. They should have expertise in some area of the world – be it China or the Internet or bioengineering – where fast change and unpredictability are the dominant facts of life. They should have experienced the unforgiving demands for precision and care that characterize real negotiation – as well as the magical effect of risk-taking at the right moments. They should have mastered the essential skill of the next fifty years: crisis management. And they should be inclined toward action, even action at times without too much reflection, since at certain moments instinct and speed are more important than lovely perfection of academic models.”

  4. Hi Megan,

    Many thanks for your kind response to my post in support of Andrew. I am so pleased he has been accepted to TEDxKIDS@BC and just know that he will present excellently. I look forward to seeing the video on YouTube!
    Thank you also for pointing out about “The Age Of The Unthinkable” I shall certainly be getting hold of the book and reading it. Your quote is really interesting about the way that tomorrow’s leaders must think and act…in Andrew I see a really good leader of the future who I’m sure would acknowledge the education that you and your colleagues provided for him at Trinity…. well done.

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