Our DreamSpeakers are experts in their fields and have been doing this speaking thing for a while. DreamSpeakers Tracy Drain, Wren Weichman, Brianna McGowan, Darius Nabors, and Kim Arcand have also been a part of some amazing TED Talks sharing their advice with an even larger audience. Collectively, these five phenomenal career role models have connected with nearly 500 students in a number of flashchats with classrooms across the country. Check out their TED Talks below to learn more about a few members of our incredible speaker community and the lessons they’ve learned in their respective industries!
1. Tracy Drain
Taught since childhood to cultivate her natural sense of curiosity, Tracy Drain shares beautiful photographs from her work on NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, and an artist’s renditions of the metallic asteroid 16 Psyche, set to launch in 2022. “Hanging onto my childlike sense of wonder has made it possible for me to grow from a curious little girl in Kentucky to a still-curious engineer working for NASA. You can visit Wonderland whenever you want to! You just need to look at the world through the eyes of your inner child.”
2. Wren Weichman
YouTube star Wren Weichman is an engineer turned self-taught visual effects artist. As a crew member at Corridor, Wren makes cinema-quality videos chock full of eye-popping visual effects. Drawing on the experience of his movie fandom and professional career, Wren details the visual effects pipeline to shed light on how even well-intentioned effects can go wrong and why the very best effects may have the ones you never even noticed at all.
3. Darius Nabors
Mr. Nabors is a former elementary school teacher through Teach For America, and afterward went to work at his alma mater, the University of Virginia, where he worked for six years in residence life and fundraising. In 2015, Mr. Nabors decided to follow his dream of visiting all 59 US National Parks in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. In this talk, Darius shares his ‘Phuket List’, a bucket list of 100 things he would like to do before he turns 30, and shares advice on how to make your own list.
4. Brianna McGowan
Brianna McGowan is a Creative Data Analyst at codetomove. Ms. McGowan develops web scraping scripts in Python. Understanding who you are, what you want, and what you can do with what you have are critical in deciding what systems we should implement in order to practice equitism — a system of equity. Brianna grounds her talk using her background in economics, computer science, and art to provide a vision of how we can use artificial intelligence and automation to help us maintain our humanity and implement equity for social, political, and economic systems.
5. Kim Arcand
Kim was working in molecular biology and public health when she was hired for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in 1998. Since she always wanted to be an astronaut when she was little, this opportunity got Kim close to the cosmos but without the long-distance commute. Today, Kim uses data to help tell stories about science, whether in the form of a 3D model of an exploded star, a book about the Universe, or a tweet about how fireflies glow.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed these Ted Talks and are feeling inspired to tackle your dreams with enthusiasm. Don’t forget to bookmark them for later if you can’t get to them all now!
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