Showing posts with label TED-Ed Lesson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TED-Ed Lesson. Show all posts

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Physics of Soccer Kicks

My daughters have started playing soccer this fall. For the first time in my life I have a real interest in watching the game. Before yesterday's practice there were some high school students on the field who were making some long kicks which amazed my youngest daughter who wanted to know how they did it. While a bit too complex for a five-year-old, TED-Ed does have a nice physics lesson about soccer kicks. 

Football Physics: The "Impossible" Free Kick is a TED-Ed lesson that illustrates and explains how soccer players make the ball curve when they kick it on a free kick or a corner kick. The video also explains how the forces that make a soccer ball curve can also make a thrown baseball curve. The video also answers the question of whether or not it would be possible to make a ball boomerang back to you. The video is embedded below. The full lesson can be seen here.


Friday, September 16, 2022

Seven Good Resources for Teaching and Learning About the Value of Money

My daughters have recently started receiving a little weekly allowance. One of them is very interested in saving as many of her dollars as possible for as long as possible. The other sees the money and immediately thinks of the things she'd like to buy. This has led to some conversations around our dinner table about the value of money. The most recent conversation prompted me to compile the following list of resources for teaching and learning about the value of money. 

 Peter Pig’s Money Counter is a fun little game designed to help kids learn to recognize U.S. coins, to recognize the values of U.S. coins, and to add the values of U.S. coins. The game is available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app. There are three levels in Peter Pig’s Money Counter and three games within each level. The first game asks students to sort coins into jars. The second game requires students to count coins and select the matching total value. The third game has students look at two piles of coins and determine which one has the greater value. The difference between the levels is the quantity and variety of coins displayed.

What Gives a Dollar Bill Its Value? is a nice TED-Ed lesson on the influence of the United States Federal Reserve banks on the value of currency. The lesson includes a short piece about the correlation between inflation and the overall health of the U.S. economy. The lesson is probably best suited to high school students who already have a basic understanding of how the value of currency is determined.

How to Spot a Counterfeit Bill is a fun TED-Ed lesson about money. In the lesson students learn about the chemistry of counterfeit detection. In other words, they learn why and how those highlighter pens work on when a store clerk runs one over a twenty dollar bill.

Why Can't Governments Print an Unlimited Amount of Money? is another TED-Ed lesson about the value of money. The purpose of the video is to explain how governments, particularly the United States federal government, were able to spend trillions of dollars on COVID-19 economic relief programs in the last year. The video explains the role of central banks in controlling the money supply and the concepts of inflation and quantitative easing. There is also an explanation of government bonds, why they're sold, and who buys them. Overall, it's a solid video for middle school or high school students. 

Compound interest can be a wonderful thing if you're saving money. How compound interest works is a concept that every middle school or high school student should learn as it helps them see the value of saving money in a bank account.  This Common Craft video does a nice job of explaining the concept in a way that middle school and high school students can understand. This Investopedia video offers a slightly different, but equally helpful explanation of compound interest vs. simple interest.

The Inflation Calculator created by Involve.me lets you enter a dollar amount then select two years to see the change in the value of the original dollar amount over time. Watch this short video to see how it works.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Moose Tracks and a Lesson on Eyes vs. Cameras

A couple of days ago I was walking down a trail to one of my favorite fishing spots in all of Maine. Along the trail I saw a bunch of moose tracks. I did my best to get a good picture of them. Unfortunately, like all pictures of moose tracks that I've taken over the years, the pictures I took didn't capture the size and detail of the tracks as I well as I would have liked. That frustration reminded me of a TED-Ed lesson that explains why our eyes see things differently than our cameras capture them. 

Eye vs. Camera is a fascinating TED-Ed lesson. In the lesson we learn why our eyes don't always see things the same way that they're captured with a camera. Through the lesson we learn how our eyes perceive and focus on colors compared to a camera. We also learn fun facts like why we can't watch our own eyes shift from side to side in a mirror. The full lesson can be seen here. The video is embedded below.



TED-Ed offers some resources to extend the lesson. Optical Illusions and Phenomena will show students more examples of how eyes perceive light and color differently than is captured by a camera. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Five Good Resources for Learning About Airplanes and Airlines

We're planning a little trip this fall to visit some family that we haven't seen since before the start of the pandemic. When we told our daughters that we're going to fly they got very excited about it. We've now been answering questions about flying seemingly nonstop for a few days. Those conversations prompted me to compile this list of resources for teaching and learning about the science of flight. 

Turbulence: One of the Great Unsolved Mysteries of Physics is a TED-Ed lesson that explains what turbulence is and the forces that create it. The lesson explains that even though we typically associate turbulence with flying in airplanes, turbulence exists in many other places including oceans.


The Wright Brothers - The Invention of the Aerial Age offers timelines for teaching about the developments made by the Wright Brothers. Dig into the Interactive Experiments section of the timeline and you'll find Engineering the Wright WayEngineering the Wright Way offers interactive simulations in which students learn about wing design by joining the Wright Brothers for test flights in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

How Things Fly hosted by the Smithsonian features an interactive module in which students design their own airplanes. The activity starts with a simple and slow airplane that students have to modify until it reaches a target speed and altitude. As students modify the wings, fuselage, and engines of their airplanes they are given instant feedback on the effects of those modifications. In some cases the feedback includes the airplane crashing and the students having to start over again.

TED-Ed offers a lesson about breaking the sound barrier. The lesson is called The Sonic Boom Problem and it explains how a sonic boom is created and how math is used to predict the path of a sonic boom in the atmosphere. 



Here's some archival footage of Yeager's flight in the Bell X-1.

If you have ever wondered why airlines sell more tickets than they have seats on an airplane, the TED-Ed lesson Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets? is for you. In Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets? you can learn about the mathematics that airlines use to maximize the revenue that they can generate from each flight. That math includes calculating the probability that everyone who holds a ticket for a flight will actually show up for the flight. The way that probability is calculated is explained in the video. Finally, the lesson asks students to consider the ethics of overbooking flights. Watch the video below or go here to see the entire lesson.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Why Do Birds Sing?

My daughters have recently become obsessed with Elinor Wonders Why on PBS Kids. The theme song for the show includes the line, "Elinor wonders why, why do birds sing and how do they fly?" That line has been stuck in my head and playing on repeat for the last few days. So in a quest to answer Elinor's question about why birds sing I went back in my archives and found a couple of helpful explanation. 

Why do birds sing? And how do they learn the songs that they sing? The answers to those questions and more are revealed in a TED-Ed lesson titled How Do Birds Learn to Sing?


After learning how birds learn to sing, have your students explore The Wall of Birds interactive mural produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The mural features a variety of birds that when clicked on reveal information about that bird, audio of that bird's call, and a map of that bird's natural range.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

A Cool Lesson for a Hot Spring Day - How the Popsicle Was Invented

It was 86F here in Maine yesterday. In the afternoon my kids had popsicles outside for the first time in 2022! That prompted my five-year-old to ask, "why are they called popsicles?" I didn't have a good answer despite the fact that I did recall watching a TED-Ed lesson about popsicles a few years ago. So I went and looked it up. 

How the Popsicle Was Invented explains the origin of the tasty treat itself as well as the name "Popsicle." This TED-Ed lesson doesn't include any multiple choice or discussion questions. It's just a fun little lesson for students to think about as the weather warms and ice cream trucks start to appear in neighborhoods (side note, ice cream trucks is one of the few things I miss about living in a suburb).



Applications for Education
You could extend this lesson by doing a little kitchen science lesson with elementary school students. They could experiment with sugar content and flavoring. And they could compare the time it takes for a Popsicle to freeze to the time it takes for an equal amount of water without sugar or flavoring to freeze.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Anesthesia and Tonsils

One of my daughters had a tonsillectomy this week. Prior to the surgery we talked with her about what was going to happen that day and why she was going to get so much ice cream afterwards. She's too young to really understand the science of how anesthesia works, but she did understand the idea of tonsils and why they were being removed. The preparation for tonsillectomy day reminded me of a TED-Ed lesson and a SciShow Kids lesson that I shared years ago. 

How Does Anesthesia Work? is a TED-Ed lesson that provides a five minute overview of the history of anesthesia and painkillers used during surgeries. The second half of the video explains the basics of the physiology of how anesthesia works. The lesson is appropriate for high school students taking an anatomy and physiology course.



Meet Your Tonsils! is a SciShow Kids lesson that explains what tonsils are, what they do, and how a doctor checks them. It's a lesson that is appropriate for elementary school students.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A Virtual Tour and Videos for Learning About Breaking the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager died yesterday at the age of 97. He was the first person to fly an airplane faster than the speed of sound. The BBC's article about Chuck Yeager's passing included some archival footage of his flight in the Bell X-1 that he flew. Watching that footage reminded me of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum's VR Hangar app which included virtual tours of the X-1 and other famous aircraft and spacecraft. 

Unfortunately, the VR Hangar app is no longer available. But you can see the Bell X-1 in the Google Arts and Culture app as well as on the Google Arts and Culture website.

TED-Ed offers a lesson about breaking the sound barrier. The lesson is called The Sonic Boom Problem and it explains how a sonic boom is created and how math is used to predict the path of a sonic boom in the atmosphere. 



Here's some archival footage of Yeager's flight in the Bell X-1.