TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing

TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing

United States

TED-Ed's commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED's mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed's growing library of TED-Ed animations, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed website (ed.ted.com).

Episodes

Should we be looking for life elsewhere in the universe? - Aomawa Shields  

As the number of "potentially habitable" planets that astronomers find continues to rise, we seem ever closer to answering the question, "Are we alone in the universe?" But should we be looking for life elsewhere? If we were to find life in one of these worlds, should we try to contact any beings who may live there? Is that wise? Aomawa Shields navigates the murky waters of pursuing curiosity.

A brief history of graffiti - Kelly Wall  

Spray-painted subway cars, tagged bridges, mural-covered walls -- graffiti pops up boldly throughout our cities. And it turns out: it's nothing new. Graffiti has been around for thousands of years. And across that span of time, it's raised the same questions we debate now: Is it art? Is it vandalism? Kelly Wall describes the history of graffiti.

History vs. Vladimir Lenin - Alex Gendler  

Vladimir Lenin overthrew Russian Czar Nicholas II and founded the Soviet Union, forever changing the course of Russian politics. But was he a hero who toppled an oppressive tyranny or a villain who replaced it with another? Alex Gendler puts this controversial figure on trial, exploring both sides of a nearly century-long debate.

Who IS Sherlock Holmes? - Neil McCaw  

More than a century after first emerging into the fogbound, gaslit streets of Victorian London, Sherlock Holmes is universally recognizable. And yet many of his most recognizable features don't appear in Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories. So who exactly is Sherlock Holmes? Who's the real "great detective," and where do we find him? Neil McCaw traces the evolution of Sherlock.

Rethinking thinking - Trevor Maber  

Every day, we meet people and process our interactions--making inferences and developing beliefs about the world around us. In this lesson, Trevor Maber introduces us to the idea of a 'ladder of inference' and a process for rethinking the way we interact.

How Mendel's pea plants helped us understand genetics - Hortensia Jiménez Díaz  

Each father and mother pass down traits to their children, who inherit combinations of their dominant or recessive alleles. But how do we know so much about genetics today? Hortensia Jiménez Díaz explains how studying pea plants revealed why you may have blue eyes.

Pavlovian reactions aren't just for dogs - Benjamin N. Witts  

Dr. Ivan Pavlov’s groundbreaking work revealed that a dog will respond to neutral stimuli, such as a bell, in the same way that it will respond to, say, mouth-watering food. This research is widely applicable beyond a dog’s salivation. Benjamin N. Witts sketches a few situations in which people are conditioned to react in a Pavlovian way, from dating to parenting.

How does an atom-smashing particle accelerator work? - Don Lincoln  

An atom smasher, or particle accelerator, collides atomic nuclei together at extremely high energies, using engineering that exploits incredibly cold temperatures, very low air pressure, and hyperbolically fast speeds. Don Lincoln explains how scientists harness the power of both electric and magnetic fields to smash atoms, eventually leading to major discoveries about the matter in our universe.

How do we smell? - Rose Eveleth  

An adult human can distinguish up to 10,000 odors. You use your nose to figure out what to eat, what to buy and even when it's time to take a shower. But how do the molecules in the air get translated into smells in your brain? Rose Eveleth charts the smelly journey through your olfactory epithelium and explains why scent can be so subjective.

Inside the ant colony - Deborah M. Gordon  

Ants have one of the most complex social organizations in the animal kingdom; they live in structured colonies that contain different types of members who perform specific roles. Sound familiar? Deborah M. Gordon explains the way these incredible creatures mate, communicate and source food, shedding light on how their actions can mimic and inform our own behavior.

What is color? - Colm Kelleher  

Have you ever wondered what color is? In this first installment of a series on light, Colm Kelleher describes the physics behind colors-- why the colors we see are related to the period of motion and the frequency of waves.

What creates a total solar eclipse? - Andy Cohen  

How can the tiny moon eclipse the sight of the gargantuan sun? By sheer coincidence, the disc of the sun is 400x larger than the disc of the moon, but the sun is 390x farther from Earth -- which means that when they align just right, the moon blocks all but the sun's glowing corona. Andy Cohen details this extraordinary celestial phenomenon (and when it will next occur).

What does it mean to be a refugee? - Benedetta Berti and Evelien Borgman  

About 60 million people around the globe have been forced to leave their homes to escape war, violence and persecution. The majority have become Internally Displaced Persons, meaning they fled their homes but are still in their own countries. Others, referred to as refugees, sought shelter outside their own country. But what does that term really mean? Benedetta Berti and Evelien Borgman explain.

How epic solar winds make brilliant polar lights - Michael Molina  

Why do we see those stunning lights in the northern- and southernmost portions of the night sky? The Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis occur when high-energy particles are flung from the Sun’s corona toward the Earth and mingle with the neutral atoms in our atmosphere -- ultimately emitting extraordinary light and color. Michael Molina explains every step of this dazzling phenomenon.

Is telekinesis real? - Emma Bryce  

Telekinesis, the ability to manipulate matter with the mind alone, is a trait exhibited by some of the most iconic fictional characters, including Neo, Yoda, and, of course, Carrie. But is this mind control actually possible in real life? Emma Bryce subjects telekinesis to the scientific method.

Cell vs. virus: A battle for health - Shannon Stiles  

All living things are made of cells. In the human body, these highly efficient units are protected by layer upon layer of defense against icky invaders like the cold virus. Shannon Stiles takes a journey into the cell, introducing the microscopic arsenal of weapons and warriors that play a role in the battle for your health.

How do the lungs work? - Emma Bryce  

When you breathe, you transport oxygen to the body's cells to keep them working, while also clearing your system of the carbon dioxide that this work generates. How do we accomplish this crucial and complex task without even thinking about it? Emma Bryce takes us into the lungs to investigate how they help keep us alive.

How false news can spread - Noah Tavlin  

In previous decades, most news with global reach came from several major newspapers and networks with the resources to gather information directly. The speed with which information spreads now, however, has created the ideal conditions for something called circular reporting. Noah Tavlin sheds light on this phenomenon.

Situational irony: The opposite of what you think - Christopher Warner  

Leaps and bounds separate that which is ironic and that which many people simply say is ironic. Christopher Warner wants to set the record straight: Something is ironic if and only if it is the exact opposite of what you would expect.

What makes something "Kafkaesque"? - Noah Tavlin  

The term Kafkaesque has entered the vernacular to describe unnecessarily complicated and frustrating experiences, especially with bureaucracy. But does standing in a long line to fill out confusing paperwork really capture the richness of Kafka's vision? Beyond the word's casual use, what makes something "Kafkaesque"? Noah Tavlin explains.

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