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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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Take the TED-Ed July Challenge!

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Want to keep your brain in shape this summer — and learn 31 new ideas in the month of July? Do both by signing up below to take the TED-Ed July Challenge.

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What is essential for a good education? Sakena Yacoobi weighs in

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Risking her life every day as the Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, Sakena Yacoobi fights tirelessly for the education of Afghan women and children. Operating on the basic principle that education is a right, not a privilege, Sakena boldly ran illegal schools for girls during the Taliban reign (and has two chilling near-death experiences to prove it). She also launched learning centers inside refugee camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan; introduced innovative teacher training programs focused around student-centered learning; and created specialized health clinics for women, which have allowed many women and their families to see a doctor for the first time in their lives. Her Afghan Institute of Learning currently serves 290,000 women and children per year with education and healthcare opportunities.

She’s basically a superhero.

In person, she’s that perfect mix of strength and warmth that you expect from a person who has fought so hard for something so essential. We sat down with Sakena at TEDWomen to discuss what she was like as a student (spoiler: she’s always been a hero to the oppressed), what elements are most crucial to a good education, and what people outside of Afghanistan can do to help her cause.

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TED-Ed’s Summer Reading List: 31 great books for students, chosen by students

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During the school year, most of the books that students read have been assigned to them by their teachers and parents. We wanted to know: what are the books kids love to dig into on their own? We asked several fourth and fifth grade TED-Ed Club Members to share the books that they’ve recently read and want to recommend to other kids their age.

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How to become a dinosaur hunter

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Like many kids, German-Moroccan paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim nursed a fascination for dinosaurs from a young age. The difference is, he grew up and actually found one.

Ibrahim vividly remembers learning about Spinosaurus, a massive aquatic dinosaur whose only known bones were destroyed during World War II. As a kid, Ibrahim dreamed of finding new fossils of this giant — and in his mid-20s, he succeeded. (TED Talk: “How we unearthed the spinosaurus.”) Below, he explains how sheer determination and a bit of magic led to his current achievements as a paleontologist.

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Neal Stephenson’s writing advice for students (and everyone else)

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Neal Stephenson’s bestselling novels about science and technology have provoked readers for a generation. From Snow Crash to Seveneves, his fictional worlds pose fascinating thought experiments, such as: What would happen next… if California seceded from the United States? If nanotech and virtual reality became as “normal” as the Internet? If humanity suddenly had two years to save itself from Earth-melting asteroids?

We asked the creatively prolific Stephenson for his writing advice. Read it below.

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How to use TED-Ed in your chemistry classroom

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Highland Park High School teacher Gordon Williamson uses TED-Ed Lessons extensively in his chemistry 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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