How do you animate a thing like cosmic rays? The story behind a TEDxCERN TED-Ed lesson


Cosmic rays. Active galactic nuclei. Nucleosynthesis. For physicist Veronica Bindi, this is the vocabulary of the everyday. A ten-year collaborator with AMS-02 — an experiment analyzing the data coming in from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a particle detector mounted on the International Space Station — Bindi deals with dark matter, solar activity, and the ins-and-outs of flight particle detectors with ease. But for someone without a double-digit career in particle physics, these topics can seem intimidating. 

From 3D Printing to endangered sharks: 5 must-see TED-Ed Club videos

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 3.16.33 PM

Subtle sexism. Protecting endangered sharks. Temporal heliavorturic attacks. These fascinating and complex topics wouldn’t be out of place in presentations on TED’s main stage. Perhaps, though, the more exciting reality is that this list is just a small sampling of the ideas that sparked the curiosity of students around the world as they endeavored to create their final TED-Ed Club presentations. We are thrilled to share the first batch of these final presentations — look for more in the coming weeks!

Is it actually ironic? 3 TED-Ed Lessons on irony

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.21.48 AM copy

How many times have you heard the phrase “That’s so ironic,” and wondered, “Wait … is it?” The term is used a lot in our cultural vocabulary and often incorrectly. In response to this confusion, TED-Ed Educator Christopher Warner wanted to set the record straight: What is irony? How is it used in everyday language or as a dramatic device? Is rain on your wedding day truly ironic? And why is irony so prevalent and useful? Focusing on three types of irony (situational, dramatic, verbal), Christopher Warner pieces together what is truly ironic.

4 TED-Ed Lessons to watch on Constitution Day

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 1.57.23 PM

On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine men emerged from the last meeting of the Constitutional Convention, having signed the US Constitution — a document that had been debated behind closed doors in the sweltering heat, shrouded by secrecy. On the 227th anniversary of that day, check out these 4 TED-Ed Lessons that investigate the history and content of this iconic document.

The past, present and future of video games


The earliest patent for a video game (then called a ‘cathode-ray tube amusement device’) went on record in 1948, but this and other early models were too bulky and too expensive to ever make it out of the science lab. Since their introduction into our homes, video games have grown immensely in popularity, with the world population netting three billion hours a week playing online games alone. But do these games have a purpose outside of entertainment? In celebration of National Video Games Day, we’ve paired the TED-Ed Lesson ‘A brief history of video games‘ with Jane McGonigal’s ‘Gaming can make a better world‘ TED Talk, in which she investigates just how powerful these ‘amusement devices’ can be in solving real-world problems like hunger, poverty and climate change.

How to teach a young introvert


Susan Cain sticks up for the introverts of the world. In the U.S., where one third to one half the population identifies as introverts, that means sticking up for a lot of people. Some of them might be data engineers overwhelmed by the noise of an open-floor-plan office. Others might be lawyers turning 30, whose friends shame them for not wanting a big birthday bash. But Cain particularly feels for one group of introverts: the quiet kids in a classroom.

5 TED speakers and their TED-Ed Lessons


Many TED Speakers are known for delivering engaging and insightful talks that can broaden your perspective or teach you something you didn’t know. Some of these speakers have also shared their expertise in short, animated TED-Ed Lessons that teach us something a little extra — a more detailed look at a process, a fascinating fact that we didn’t know or a lesson that might be taught in school. Check out this list of some of our favorite TED Speakers’ Talks paired with their TED-ED Lessons to help you learn just a little bit more about each subject area!

How to start a TED-Ed Club at your school

Want to start a TED-Ed Club

This past January, TED-Ed launched TED-Ed Clubs — a flexible, school-based program that supports students in discussing, pursuing and presenting their big ideas in the form of short TED-style talks. By participating in a TED-Ed Club, students further develop presentation and public speaking skills so that their ideas can be more easily seen, understood, shared and acted upon. Over the course of the first semester, thousands of students from schools all over the world delivered thought-provoking presentationsconnected globally with other enthusiastic TED-Ed Clubs and attended a bevy of specially curated online TED-Ed Club Workshops on topics ranging from animation to presentation.

Are you interested in getting involved? Here’s a step-by-step guide for starting a TED-Ed Club at your local school or community organization.

5 brainiac brain facts (illustrated by TED-Ed GIFs)


The brain is an incredible organ; its complex networks are responsible for everything from determining attraction to detecting pain. It’s also extremely GIF-able. Enjoy these five brain facts, coupled with beautifully animated GIFs from some of TED-Ed’s favorite animators.

School’s back! TED-Ed staff’s favorite back to school traditions


Whether you’re a nervous student entering elementary school for the the first time or a veteran educator who has been teaching for decades, the first day back to school after summer break is always an adventure. In honor of all those schools heading back into session this month, we asked TED-Ed staff members to recount their favorite back to school ritual and to share an animated GIF that best describes the range of emotions they felt as they packed up for their first day back in class.