11th-grader presents TEDx “The Power of Case Studies”

Walker Junior Rayna Paramesh is committed to helping young people, especially through education, and she has quite a few projects in the works to do just that, including most recently giving a talk at TEDx Evans Youth in Augusta. 

Her talk was about “The Power of Case Studies” and focused on case study-based learning and changing the educational system. In case-based learning, students engage in discussion about specific scenarios that resemble or are real-world examples. They work together to analyze and address problems and resolve questions that have no single correct answer. The teacher’s role in case study-based learning is more of a facilitator.

“A lot of people have talked about it, but I don’t feel like it’s used enough in the elementary, middle school and upper school levels,” she said. “That was the whole heart of my argument was trying to get this method expanded more to common classrooms.”

She also is working with the Georgia State School Superintendent’s office to create opportunities for case-study-based learning to be used in Georgia public schools. 

“This is very exciting,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to identify a way to implement [case-study learning] and so I looked up [Richard Woods’] email. I didn’t think I would get a response if I’m being honest with you, but I did.”

Her email led to a meeting with Woods, and now Paramesh is working with a coordinator in Woods’ office to help provide educational resources that are more case-study-based learning. 

“I’m trying to really practice what I preach,” Paramesh said.“ I feel like so many people can go up there and talk about what they’re passionate about, but I really want to be the person who does something about it. I’ve been doing a lot with this.” 

She also has created a case-study based Google Classroom toxicology course for the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences that she has offered to Walker for both teachers and students to use. 

Paramesh has seen first-hand how powerful case-study-based learning can be both personally and through her work with students at Marietta’s Fair Oaks Elementary School. Walker students have been volunteering at the nearby public school in a variety of capacities for several years. 

She introduced the case-study-based concept to a group of Fair Oaks students of varying ages during a basic genetics session she taught while their parents attended classes elsewhere in the building. 

“The students were so intrigued to learn, and I love seeing them have that spark like I had when I was little. I was so glad I did this,” she said.

As for the TED talk, Paramesh said she has “been interested in doing a TED talk for a while.”

While looking at the TEDx site, she saw there was going to be a youth program in Augusta, so she signed up and was accepted.

“I definitely would advise people that if you’re trying to look for an opportunity like that to not be scared to do it because public speaking and engaging an audience is something that you will need for anything that you do in life, so I would recommend it,” she said. “I’m very excited I got to do it.”

Her speech was about seven minutes long, and she said two of her Walker teachers were instrumental in helping her prepare for the big day.  

“I sent it to Ms. Adams and Mr. Bradford because they’re teachers, so they know more about what I’m trying to talk about,” she said. “But mostly I talked to stuffed animals. I had them lined up, and I would just run it at least four times a day for at least two or three weeks before. So I was going very, very hard on the practice to make sure that I didn’t mess up when I went up there.”

 As for her future, Paramesh said: “My eventual goal is to become a doctor, but I feel more than that I want to start a non-profit at some point in my life because I’ve done a lot of service-based work.”

That includes working with students at an underprivileged school in India during a family trip. She was inspired by how passionate the students were about learning. 

“My parents bought me the very best education they could from a very young age, but these kids are doing so much with what they had. I was so impressed with them,” she said. 

She is staying in touch with the students, including starting a fund drive to buy school supplies for them. “Anything I can do to get those kids where they want to go, I would love that.”

Paramesh also had advice for students her age: “Go for opportunities! I know that there are people who are so cool in this world, and if I don’t go talk to them then I don’t feel like I’m going to reach what I’m trying to get in life.”
  • Main Campus

    700 Cobb Parkway North
    Marietta, GA 30062
  • Primary School

    830 Damar Road
    Marietta, GA 30062
The Walker School is a private, co-ed day school offering opportunities in academics, arts, and athletics for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students in Metro Atlanta.