The Coast News Group
El Camino freshmen present their own “TED Talks” in celebration of the high school becoming an official TEDx school.
El Camino freshmen present their own “TED Talks” in celebration of the high school becoming an official TEDx school.

El Camino High becomes TEDx school

OCEANSIDE — El Camino High School freshmen recently celebrated the school becoming an official location of the nationally recognized TEDx corporation.

The high school went through a rigorous application process to become an official TEDx school location. Students and faculty waited an entire year to find out if the school had been accepted.

Being recognized as an official TEDx school location gives students access to the TEDx resources to better learn, the approval of a world-renowned organization for the prestigious work the program is teaching students, and the pride of knowing their work stands at an elevated level.

TEDx is a grassroots initiative created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to research and discover ideas worth spreading. TEDx brings the spirit of TED to areas around the globe through its events organized by passionate individuals who seek to uncover new ideas and to share the latest research that spark conversations in their local communities.

TEDx events include live speakers and recorded TED Talks.

Five freshmen students from the school’s 21st Century Entrepreneur Exploration class, also known as 21CEE, presented their business passion projects in TEDx fashion to an auditorium full of their peers in the Truax Theater on May 19.

The students demonstrated their entrepreneurial skills by showcasing their ability to utilize their passions to create businesses. Student project topics included a children’s book to encourage young students in math, a website to teach people about art, an app that would help people financially and teaching the art of folklórico dance to inspire dancers, to name a few.

The 21CEE class was co-founded by El Camino teachers Tom Voris and Kristina Vasquez.

“It’s passion-based,” Voris said.  “It’s a real world course that motivates students to study and work hard for what they want to learn and what they want to accomplish.”

The class incorporates Google’s “20% Time,” also known as “Genius Hour” or “Passion Projects,” an innovative, self-motivated idea that encourages workers to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit the company.

The goal of the 20% project encompasses an entrepreneurial focus that challenges students through interactive classroom activities to start their own entrepreneurial venture. This is the fifth year the class has been available for motivated freshmen students to take at El Camino.

Oceanside Unified was the third school district in San Diego County to offer this type of course that used the Genius Hour concept.

To watch a clip of the student TEDx presentations, visit

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