A TED talk is an 18 min. (or less) lecture about Technology, Entertainment and Design (T.E.D.) given by someone who’s a leader in their field with an ‘idea worth spreading’.
Thousands of talks have been given, and many cover the same science topics you do, including health, dinosaurs, climate and conservation, and hundreds of others. The talks are inspiring, educational and even entertaining (by being engaging, not by making a spectacle). And, oh yeah, many of these talks deal directly with a concept you may have heard of called S.T.E.M. (Near the end you’ll find a downloadable list of excellent TED talks.)
The students in your class, with their whole lives and careers ahead of them, can listen firsthand to someone who was in space when something went terribly wrong, or lead an army, or make a discovery that literally changes what we read in our textbooks. Another common theme in these talks you’ll come to appreciate is failure and limitation, which we all have and experience, but our society doesn’t like to acknowledge.
Here is a starter list of TED talks that are excellent. Before you show any to your students, preview them to make sure you’re comfortable with everything in the video. If something in it troubles you, just look for another (there are lots of others). Depending on where you teach, you may also need to notify your principal so she/he is aware of this resource being used.
And for those of you who enjoy podcasts, check out the TED Radio Hour. Every week the show has a theme that’s based on notable TED talks.
Hey, do us all a favor- if you come across any others that you find that are amazing, post the link for it below!