TED Talks

In the Internet age, dance evolves … 16:48  The LXD (the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers) electrify the TED2010 stage with an emerging global street-dance culture, revved up by the Internet. In a preview of Jon Chu’s upcoming Web series, this astonishing troupe show off their superpowers.

Science is for everyone, kids included 15:25 What do science and play have in common? Neuroscientist Beau Lotto thinks all people (kids included) should participate in science and, through the process of discovery, change perceptions. He’s seconded by 12-year-old Amy O’Toole, who, along with 25 of her classmates, published the first peer-reviewed article by schoolchildren, about the Blackawton bees project. It starts: “Once upon a time … ”

Underwater astonishments 5:27  ]David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square’s worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean. This short talk celebrates the pioneering work of ocean explorers like Edith Widder and Roger Hanlon.

A performance of “Mathemagic” 15:14  In a lively show, mathemagician Arthur Benjamin races a team of calculators to figure out 3-digit squares, solves another massive mental equation and guesses a few birthdays. How does he do it? He’ll tell you.

A teen just trying to figure it out 7:30 Fifteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson had a hard time finding strong female, teenage role models — so she built a space where they could find each other. At TEDxTeen, she illustrates how the conversations on sites like Rookie, her wildly popular web magazine for and by teen girls, are putting a new, unapologetically uncertain and richly complex face on modern feminism.

Breaking down the unknown  11:16

The magic of truth and lies (and iPods) 5:07 Using three iPods like magical props, Marco Tempest spins a clever, surprisingly heartfelt meditation on truth and lies, art and emotion.

Why we procrastinate 9:51

A promising test for pancreatic cancer … from a teenager 10:49 Over 85 percent of all pancreatic cancers are diagnosed late, when someone has less than two percent chance of survival. How could this be? Jack Andraka talks about how he developed a promising early detection test for pancreatic cancer that’s super cheap, effective and non-invasive — all before his 16th birthday.

Hands-on science with squishy circuits 4:08 In a zippy demo at TED U, AnnMarie Thomas shows how two different kinds of homemade play dough can be used to demonstrate electrical properties — by lighting up LEDs, spinning motors, and turning little kids into circuit designers.

The genius puppetry behind War Horse 18:11 “Puppets always have to try to be alive,” says Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, a gloriously ambitious troupe of human and wooden actors. Beginning with the tale of a hyena’s subtle paw, puppeteers Kohler and Basil Jones build to the story of their latest astonishment: the wonderfully life-like Joey, the War Horse, who trots (and gallops) convincingly onto the TED stage.

If I should have a daughter … 18:25 “If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B … ” began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

The astounding athletic power of quadcopters 16:08 In a robot lab at TEDGlobal, Raffaello D’Andrea demos his flying quadcopters: robots that think like athletes, solving physical problems with algorithms that help them learn. In a series of nifty demos, D’Andrea show drones that play catch, balance and make decisions together — and watch out for an I-want-this-now demo of Kinect-controlled quads.

What adults can learn from kids 8:12 Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria 9:20 Once it’s created, plastic (almost) never dies. While in 12th grade Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao went in search of a new bacteria to biodegrade plastic — specifically by breaking down phthalates, a harmful plasticizer. They found an answer surprisingly close to home.

A 12-year-old app developer 4:40 Most 12-year-olds love playing videogames — Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like “Bustin Jeiber,” a whack-a-mole game, he is now using his skills to help other kids become developers. (Filmed at TEDxManhattanBeach.)

Improvising on piano, aged 14 24:05 Pianist and composer Jennifer Lin gives a magical performance, talks about the process of creativity and improvises a moving solo piece based on a random sequence of notes.

Award-winning teenage science in action 16:16 In 2011 three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair. Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah describe their extraordinary projects — and their route to a passion for science. (Filmed at TEDxWomen.)

How I harnessed the wind 5:59 At age 14, in poverty and famine, a Malawian boy built a windmill to power his family’s home. Now at 22, William Kamkwamba, who speaks at TED, here, for the second time, shares in his own words the moving tale of invention that changed his life.

My invention that made peace with lions 7:20 In the Maasai community where Richard Turere lives with his family, cattle are all-important. But lion attacks were growing more frequent. In this short, inspiring talk, the young inventor shares the solar-powered solution he designed to safely scare the lions away.

Bluegrass virtuosity from … New Jersey? All under the age of 16, brothers Jonny, Robbie and Tommy Mizzone are from New Jersey, a US state that’s better known for the rock of Bruce Springsteen than the bluegrass of Earl Scruggs. Nonetheless, the siblings began performing bluegrass covers, as well as their own compositions, at a young age. Here, they play three dazzling songs in three different keys, passing the lead back and forth from fiddle to banjo to guitar.

An 11-year-old’s magical violin 24:41 Violinist Sirena Huang gives a technically brilliant and emotionally nuanced performance. In a charming interlude, the 11-year-old praises the timeless design of her instrument.

Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor 3:32 Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents’ garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.

The difference between winning and succeeding (Jack Wooden) 17:36 With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

Success is a continuous journey 3:57 In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business’ rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson — when we stop trying, we fail.

Your elusive creative genius 19:09 Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

“True Colors” 3:58 In a heart-melting moment, TED Talks Education host John Legend sits at the piano to sing “True Colors,” giving the lyrics a special meaning for kids and teachers. “So don’t be afraid / to let them show / your true colors / are beautiful, like a rainbow.”

How to start a movement 3:09 With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)

Kid President 3:14

Hack a banana, make a keyboard 13:15 Why can’t two slices of pizza be used as a slide clicker? Why shouldn’t you make music with ketchup? In this charming talk, inventor Jay Silver talks about the urge to play with the world around you. He shares some of his messiest inventions, and demos MaKey MaKey, a kit for hacking everyday objects.

Ziauddin Yousafzai: My daughter, Malala 16:36 Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai reminds the world of a simple truth that many don’t want to hear: Women and men deserve equal opportunities for education, autonomy, an independent identity. He tells stories from his own life and the life of his daughter, Malala, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 simply for daring to go to school. “Why is my daughter so strong?” Yousafzai asks. “Because I didn’t clip her wings.”

Want to be an activist? Start with your toys 5:22 McKenna Pope’s younger brother loved to cook, but he worried about using an Easy-Bake Oven — because it was a toy for girls. So at age 13, Pope started an online petition for the American toy company Hasbro to change the pink-and-purple color scheme on the classic toy and incorporate boys into its TV marketing. In a heartening talk, Pope makes the case for gender-neutral toys and gives a rousing call to action to all kids who feel powerless.

Advice to young scientists 14:56 “The world needs you, badly,” begins celebrated biologist E.O. Wilson in his letter to a young scientist. Previewing his upcoming book, he gives advice collected from a lifetime of experience — reminding us that wonder and creativity are the center of the scientific life. (Filmed at TEDMED.)

What we can learn from galaxies far, far away 6:43 In a fun, exciting talk, teenager Henry Lin looks at something unexpected in the sky: distant galaxy clusters. By studying the properties of the universe’s largest pieces, says the Intel Science Fair award winner, we can learn quite a lot about scientific mysteries in our own world and galaxy.

Meet the mom who started the Ice Bucket Challenge18:53 Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge craze this summer? Meet the mom who started it all. When Nancy Frates’s son Pete hurt his wrist in a baseball game, he got an unexpected diagnosis: it wasn’t a broken bone, it was ALS, and there is no cure. In this inspiring talk, Nancy tells the story of what happened next.

How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries 7:32 Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed — Eratosthenes’ calculation of the Earth’s circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau’s measurement of the speed of light in 1849. Find more TED-Ed videos on our new YouTube channel: youtube.com/TEDEd.

The cockroach beatbox 6:16 By dissecting a cockroach … yes, live on stage … TED Fellow and neuroscientist Greg Gage shows how brains receive and deliver electric impulses — and how legs can respond. This talk comes from the TED-Ed project.

The technology of touch 6:28 As we move through the world, we have an innate sense of how things feel — the sensations they produce on our skin and how our bodies orient to them. Can technology leverage this? In this fun, fascinating TED-Ed lesson, learn about the field of haptics, and how it could change everything from the way we shop online to how dentists learn the telltale feel of a cavity.

Why videos go viral 7:20 Kevin Allocca is YouTube’s trends manager, and he has deep thoughts about silly web video. In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares the 4 reasons a video goes viral.

Working backward to solve a problem 5:57 Imagine where you want to be someday. Now, how did you get there? Retrograde analysis is a style of problem solving where you work backwards from the endgame you want. It can help you win at chess — or solve a problem in real life. At TEDYouth 2012, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley delves into his favorite strategy.

Curiosity, discovery and gecko feet 9:09 The scientific method is widely used to make many scientific discoveries, but Robert Full suggests the possibility of finding world-changing results with less formulaic approaches. In his TEDYouth Talk, Full describes the unlikely way he studied gecko’s feet and how these beneficial discoveries could eventually save lives.

 Rapid prototyping Google Glass 8:09 Rapid prototyping is a method used to accelerate the innovation process. At TEDYouth 2012, Tom Chi explains how this method was used to create one of Google’s newest inventions, Google Glass.

What’s wrong with me?  Absolutely nothing 12:26 This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Gabi Ury, who became the world female planking champion at age 16, was born with special needs that…

The transformative power of classical music 20:43 Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger? 14:53 When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.

Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking 12:58 Megan Washington is one of Australia’s premier singer/songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has to say rather than speaking them.

 The power of introverts 19:04 In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

An illustrated journey through Rome 21:33 David Macaulay relives the winding and sometimes surreal journey toward the completion of Rome Antics, his illustrated homage to the historic city.

The math and magic of origami 15:53 Robert Lang is a pioneer of the newest kind of origami — using math and engineering principles to fold mind-blowingly intricate designs that are beautiful and, sometimes, very useful.

Carrot clarinet 5:28 Linsey Pollak turns a carrot into a clarinet using an electic drill a carrot and a saxophone mouthpiece, and plays it all in a matter of 5 minutes.

My philosophy for a happy life 12:45 Sam Berns is a Junior at Foxboro High School in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where he has achieved highest honors and is currently a percussion section leader in the high school marching band. He recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Sam was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare, rapid aging disease, at the age of 2.

The human beatbox 6:14 Beatboxer Nate Ball is on a constant quest to push the limits of his body to create new sounds. It’s all about letting go of embarrassment and doubt. He wants to know what moves you and what you need to let go of to keep moving.

The surprising beauty of mathematics 9:13 Jonathan Matte has been teaching Mathematics for 20 years, the last 13 at Greens Farms Academy. Formerly the Mathematics Department Chair, he is currently the 12th Grade Dean and Coach of the GFA Math Team and the CT State Champion Quiz Team.

Giving presentations worth listening to 10:05 Presentations can be among the most painful experiences in both school and the working world — and that includes listening to them. The way most of us give presentations is broken and ineffective, but it doesn’t have to be that way. What if small changes in the way we prepared to speak could drastically improve our dynamism and effectiveness? Gordon will explain a smart and simple approach to creating presentations that engage audience and inspire action.

The power of listening 12:34 Mteto’s father left behind one Pavarotti CD when he abandoned Mteto, his brothers, and his mother in a small Xhosa township in South Africa’s Western Cape. Mteto was four years old and before his father died eleven years later Mteto would see him only once more. As a child, Mteto played his Pavarotti CD one phrase at a time, sounding out the Italian lyrics to teach himself to sing “Santa Lucia” and “‘O Sole Mio.”  Soon Mteto and his friends formed the Six Tenors, a group of six teenagers who sang opera on the streets to support their families in a shantytown with over 40% unemployment. Living a catch-as-catch-can life, Mteto fell into a pattern of crime after his mother’s death from HIV/AIDS, enduring multiple stabbings and a burning in gang wars and chance fights. Now a twenty-two year old with a knife scar stretching the length of his cheek, Mteto has used opera to pull himself out of the cycle of gang life.

Forget what you know 18:10  Jacob Barnett is an American mathematician and child prodigy. At 8 years old, Jacob began sneaking into the back of college lectures at IUPUI. After being diagnosed with autism since the age of two and placed in his school’s special ed. program, Jacob’s teachers and doctors were astonished to learn he was able to teach calculus to college students.  At age nine, while playing with shapes, Jacob built a series of mathematical models that expanded Einstein’s field of relativity. A professor at Princeton reviewed his work and confirmed that it was groundbreaking and could someday result in a Nobel Prize. At age 10, Jacob was formally accepted to the University as a full-time college student and went straight into a paid research position in the field of condensed matter physics. For his original work in this field, Jacob set a record, becoming the world’s youngest astrophysics researcher. His paper was subsequently accepted for publication by Physical Review A, a scientific journal shared on sites such as NASA, the Smithsonian, and Harvard’s webpage. Jacob’s work aims to help improve the way light travels in technology.
Jacob is also CEO and founder of Wheel LLC, a business he started in his mom’s garage, and is in the process of writing a book to help end “math phobia” in his generation.  Jacob’s favorite pastime is playing basketball with the kids at his charity, Jacob’s Place. It is a place where kids with autism are inspired every day to be their true authentic selves…just like Jacob.

The skill of self confidence 13:20 As the Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: is it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk, he explores self confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives.

Play Lists–

5 TED Talks Teachers Should Watch with Students

5 Must See TED Talks for Kids

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