With sweaty palms, cracking voices and the occasional case of the giggles, middle schoolers individually took to the stage in the Frankfort High School auditorium to give TED Talks on Thursday.

In 1984 — long before these middle-schoolers were born — Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) converged at a conference to spread new ideas. In the years since, more than 2,000 TED Talks have been given on a variety of issues.

Throughout the day at FHS, more than 50 seventh and eighth grade students tackled all sorts of topics, from the serious — Jago Chagoya spoke about the benefits and drawbacks of being bilingual — to the goofy — Steven Murphy gave step-by-step instructions on how to perform random dance moves from his favorite, The Whoa, to the newly popular The Shoot.

Colby Cracraft stressed the importance of nutrition for athletes and talked about the time management issues he faces while juggling participation on two soccer teams.

Despite the occasional stumbles, awkward stumbles and forgotten lines, the students were both respectful and encouraging to one another.

As eighth grader William Witten took the microphone to start his speech about the effects of slacking in class, several fellow middle schoolers cheered and shouted out, “Go, Will!” He went on to explain that every student has untapped potential and learns differently.

“My challenge to my classmates is to pay attention, work hard and don’t be a slacker,” Witten added to the thunderous applause that followed every speaker.

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