Pollock to Discuss the Importance of Storytelling in Learning Science at TEDxYouth Conference

Posted on October 19, 2016

Dr. John Pollock, professor of biological sciences and an expert in developing multimedia learning tools for health and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics, is one of 10 featured speakers at the upcoming TEDxYouth@SquirrelHill conference.

Based on the national TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conferences where speakers discuss what they are most passionate about, TEDx events are locally organized, and TEDxYouth events are geared toward a younger audience.

Focusing on the theme “Ability,” TEDxYouth@SquirrelHill will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Kresge Theatre at Carnegie Mellon University.

During his presentation, Pollock will share why he thinks storytelling is so important to learning science. “I’ll take the audience on a brief tour of human evolution to talk about the unique abilities that humans have to tell stories through technology, art, literature and now, through videos, apps and e-books,” explained Pollock. “I’ll also try to bring out the importance of reading—for pleasure and for information. It’s an ability that is unique to humans, but is an ability that we can lose.”

Addressing the event’s theme Ability, Pollock said that youth have both great ability and great opportunity. By sharing some of his ideas, he hopes to influence local youth attending the conference.

“I can share some of my ideas about how we, as a society, can capitalize on these to broaden the impact of what each of us can do to give back to our community,” said Pollock. “I think that if we become a little more intentional in how each of us uses technology, entertainment and design (TED) principles to share positive world views based on our own perspectives, we can build a new paradigm of information flow.”

Pollock teaches courses in neuroscience, microscopy, molecular and cellular biology. His outreach teaching has included working informal science education in museums and for broadcast television. Most recently, Pollock and The Partnership in Education (Duquesne’s STEM education and health literacy research and development group led by Pollock) received the bronze honor at the 2016 Serious Play Conference for their app CityHacks: In Search of Sleep. Pollock’s work is supported with long-term funding from the National Institutes of Health-Science Education Partnership Awards and the Hillman Foundation, among others.

TEDxYouth@SquirrelHill brings together some of the best and brightest leaders in technology, education, design, social justice, law, business and cultural connections around the Pittsburgh area. Tickets are $20. For more information, visit www.tedxyouthsquirrelhill.com.

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