21
By TED-Ed
Published in 2013
High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about a lesson plan on bacteria (how cool!) -- and devastated when his students hated it. The problem was the textbook: it was impossible to understand. He delivers a rousing call for science teachers to ditch the jargon and extreme precision,...
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22
By TED-Ed
Published in 2013
"In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of """"space archeology"""" -- using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations."
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23
By TED-Ed
Published in 2013
Biofuels can provide energy without the reliance on environmentally harmful fossils fuels -- but scientists are still searching for a plentiful source. Craig A. Kohn demonstrates how cellulose, the naturally abundant tough walls of plant cells, might be the solution.
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24
By TED-Ed
Published in 2013
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...
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25
By TED-Ed
Published in 2013
How can the shadow of the tiny moon eclipse the sight of the gargantuan sun? By sheer coincedence, the dsc of the sun in 400x larger than the disc of the moon, but it's 390x farther from Earth -- which means that when they align just right, the moon blocks all but the sun's glowing corona. Andy...
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26
By TED-Ed
Published in 2013
What's six miles wide and can end civilization in an instant? An asteroid -- and there are lots of them out there. With humor and great visuals, Phil Plait enthralls the TEDxBoulder audience with all the ways asteroids can kill, and what we must do to avoid them.
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27
By TED-Ed
Published in 2014
How could you dispose of your cooking oil when you're done cooking? The easiest thing to do might be to pour it down your drain -- but if you save it up and send it to a processing plant, it can gain useful new life as biodiesel, a biodegradable energy source which can run in diesel engines instead...
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28
By TED-Ed
Published in 2014
The immense swell of a tsunami can grow up to 100 feet, hitting speeds over 500 mph -- a treacherous combination for anyone or anything in its path. Alex Gendler details the causes of these towering terrors and explains how scientists are seeking to reduce their destruction in the future.
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29
By TED-Ed
Published in 2014
"In 1816, Europe and North America were plagued by heavy rains, odd-colored snow, famines, strange fogs and very cold weather well into June. Though many people believed it to be the apocalypse, this """"year without a summer"""" was actually the result of a supervolcano eruption that happened one...
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30
By TED-Ed
Published in 2014
Energy is neither created nor destroyed — and yet the global demand for it continues to increase. But where does energy come from, and where does it go? Joshua M. Sneideman examines the many ways in which energy cycles through our planet, from the sun to our food chain to electricity and beyond.
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31
By TED-Ed
Published in 2014
Too often we think of air as empty space — but compared to a vacuum, air is actually pretty heavy. So, just how heavy is it? And if it's so heavy, why doesn't it crush us? Dan Quinn describes the fundamentals of air pressure and explains how it affects our bodies, the weather and the universe at...
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32
By TED-Ed
Published in 2017
The North American Great Lakes — Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior — are so big that they border 8 states and contain 23 quadrillion liters of water. They span forest, grassland, and wetland habitats, supporting a region that’s home to 3,500 species. But how did such a vast and...
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33
By TED-Ed
Published in 2014
As the Earth’s surface temperature gradually rises, it has become vital for us to predict the rate of this increase with as much precision as possible. In order to do that, scientists need to understand more about aerosols and clouds. Jasper Kirkby details an experiment at CERN that aims to do...
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34
By TED-Ed
Published in 2015
Earthquakes have always been a terrifying phenomenon, and they’ve become more deadly as our cities have grown — with collapsing buildings posing one of the largest risks. But why do buildings collapse in an earthquake? And how can it be prevented? Vicki V. May explains the physics of why it is...
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35
By TED-Ed
Published in 2015
We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Emma Bryce traces the life cycles of three different plastic bottles, shedding light on the dangers these disposables present to our world.
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36
By TED-Ed
Published in 2015
Our planet’s diverse, thriving ecosystems may seem like permanent fixtures, but they’re actually vulnerable to collapse. Jungles can become deserts, and reefs can become lifeless rocks. What makes one ecosystem strong and another weak in the face of change? Kim Preshoff details why the answer,...
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37
By TED-Ed
Published in 2015
There's a lot of talk these days about when and how we might all move to Mars. But what would it actually be like to live there? Mari Foroutan details the features of Mars that are remarkably similar to those of Earth — and those that can only be found on the red planet.
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38
By TED-Ed
Published in 2015
Did you know that gold is extraterrestrial? Instead of arising from our planet’s rocky crust, it was actually cooked up in space and is present on Earth because of cataclysmic stellar explosions called supernovae. CERN Scientist David Lunney outlines the incredible journey of gold from space to...
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39
By TED-Ed
Published in 2015
The International Space Station is roughly the size of a six-bedroom house and weighs more than 320 cars -- it's so large that no single rocket could have lifted it into orbit. Instead, it was assembled piece by piece while hurtling through space at 28,000 kilometers per hour, lapping the Earth once...
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40
By TED-Ed
Published in 2015
The study of clouds has always been a daydreamer’s science, aptly founded by a thoughtful young man whose favorite activity was staring out of the window at the sky. Richard Hamblyn tells the history of Luke Howard, the man who classified the clouds and forever changed humanity’s understanding...
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