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What we know (and don’t know) about cancer

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September is #ChildhoodCancerAwareness month. Watch these four TED-Ed Lessons to get more informed about cancerous cells, how they spread and some methods people are using to fight the disease head on.

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Does school prepare students for the real world? This teen speaker says no

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Are teenagers today prepared for life after school? Or are American students too coddled? Windsor High School student Aliezah Hulett ponders these questions in her TED-Ed Club talk, “Preparing Students for the Real World.” During the talk, she advocates for schools to teach more real-life skills to their students, including a basic understanding of the metric system and a more realistic approach to sex education. Read on for an interview with Aliezah about the gap between what we learn in school vs. what we need in later life.

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How one TED-Ed subscriber became a character in an animated lesson

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At the end of last year, TED-Ed reached an exciting milestone: 1 million YouTube subscribers. To celebrate the occasion, we put out an open call for subscribers to share a link to their favorite TED-Ed Lesson for a chance to win an animated walk-on role in one of our upcoming animations. Over 900 comments later, Christian Castillo (whose favorite lesson was ‘The hidden meanings of yin and yang’) was randomly selected for that prize. Read on to find out how our animators tackled the challenge of animating a real person, and what it’s like to see yourself as a animated character.


Why do nouns exist? A writing teacher explains.

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The word noun derives from nomen, for “name.” This useful Latin trivia tells us exactly why nouns exist: to name all the things in our world. Many of us first learned about nouns in grade school, or—depending on our age—from the TV series Schoolhouse Rock!, which defines the parts of speech with catchy ditties. The song about the noun tells us that it is “a special kind of word” (“It’s any name you ever heard”) and that it is “quite interesting” (“a person, place, or thing”).

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12 amazing facts about elephants

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In honor of World Elephant Day on August 12, we present you with 12 little-known facts about one of our favorite creatures … in GIFs, of course.

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Listening, kindness, and individuality: The advice one student with Asperger’s has for us all

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Alix Generous, one of the youngest speakers at the TEDWomen 2015 conference, is an undergraduate student with Asperger’s syndrome. She is also a biology researcher, United Nations presenter  — and co-owner of the startup AutismSees, which offers technology tools designed to make presentations easier for people who avoid eye contact.

We caught up with Alix to discuss mental diversity, the DSM-V — and the idea that complex problems require unique minds.

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TED-Ed July Challenge: Here’s the archive of daily lessons

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Did you sign up to keep your brain in shape this summer — and learn 31 new ideas in the month of July? If so, you’re in great company. Around the world, more than 10,000 of you are taking the TED-Ed July Challenge at this very moment. Keep up the great work, challengers! Below, catch up on any lessons you missed with the TED-Ed July Challenge lesson archive. We’ll be updating this post regularly with more archive lessons as the TED-Ed July Challenge continues to unfold.

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Debunking the black male stereotype: One teen speaks up

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High school senior Brandon Allen is only 17 years old, and he’s already tired of being stereotyped based on the color of his skin. Naturally, then, when it came time to choose a topic for his TED-Ed Club presentation, Brandon chose to use the platform to debunk some of the most pervasive and frustrating stereotypes that he and other black men encounter on a daily basis. We caught up with Brandon to talk about his presentation and how people can fight this destructive brand of stereotyping in schools and at home.

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The science of ‘Inside Out’: 5 TED-Ed Lessons to help you understand the film

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Inside Out, Pixar’s latest animated masterpiece, is not only an emotional rollercoaster, but also a vehicle for some solid scientific storytelling. Of course, the film can’t be taken literally, as it’s a visual interpretation of abstract concepts: memories are not spheres, and the train of thought is not … actually a train. To help clarify the trickier science, we’ve rounded up 5 TED-Ed Lessons that explain some of the neuroscience and psychology introduced in the film. 

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How to use TED-Ed in your Earth and Space Science classroom

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Highland Park High School teacher Gordon Williamson uses TED-Ed Lessons extensively in his middle school Earth and Space Science classroom to catalyze conversations and supplement his curriculum. Below, a snapshot of Gordon’s favorite lessons and how he chooses to wrap them into his units.  

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