5 science and technology videos to get students talking


Key points:

  • TED-Ed Lessons are short videos designed to engage students and stimulate critical thinking
  • Here are 5 videos covering science and tech topics such as earth science and animal behavior
  • See related article: Cool! 6 TED-Ed lessons about the cold

School is back in session, and for many students, that means a major shift from an unstructured schedule to a more regimented school day. It may still be challenging to keep students’ attention on topics like science and technology now that classrooms are once again full.

Creating a video-based lesson that explores different concepts around science and technology is one fun way to boost student engagement.

These TED-Ed Lessons cover jellyfish, drinking water, the physics behind boat wakes, and more.

Using TED-Ed platform, educators can build lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video. Once you find the video you want to use, you can use the TED-Ed Lessons editor to add questions, discussion prompts, and additional resources.

Use these TED-Ed Lessons for brain breaks, to introduce new lessons, or to inject some fun and engaging conversation into your class.

1. Can alligators survive this apex predator? Over the past two decades, jellyfish have begun to overwhelm our oceans. If things stay on their current trajectory, we could be headed for a future where the entire ocean is thick with jellyfish. So, is there anything that can keep these gelatinous creatures under control? Mariela Pajuelo and Javier Antonio Quinones take a look at the jellyfish’s most ancient predator.

2. The one thing stopping jellyfish from taking over: Despite alligators ruling the swamplands of the Everglades for millennia, the last 500 years have brought deadly new predators that challenge their reign. And the origins of these international invaders are just as unexpected as their impact on the Everglades. So, what exactly is threatening this biodiverse region? Kenny Coogan explores the unique and precious ecosystem.

3. How the water you flush becomes the water you drink: In 2003, Singapore’s national water agency launched an unprecedented program to provide more than 50% of their nation’s water supply by recycling wastewater. The program had been planned for decades to ensure the island nation never ran out of clean water. But is it really safe to reuse anything we flush down the toilet? Francis de los Reyes explains the science of wastewater treatment.

4. What’s happening to Earth’s core? A hydrogen atom is traveling high within the outermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere. This particular atom first entered the exosphere millions of years ago, but today it overcomes Earth’s gravitational pull and escapes, joining the roughly 90 tons of material that leak out of our atmosphere each day. Should we be worried about these leaks? Shannon Odell digs into our planet’s imperfect plumbing.

5. The fascinating physics of boat wakes: If you look at the wake behind a duck, or a kayak, or a ship, you might notice two things: first, it’s a feathery, rippled pattern, and second, that pattern looks the same regardless of whether it’s made by a duck, kayak, or ship— even though they’re all moving at different speeds and the waves are different sizes. How is this possible? Minutephysics digs into the Kelvin wake pattern.

Laura Ascione
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