TED-Ed's Design, Engineering & Technology collection is home to almost 80 lessons, each consisting of a short video, multiple-choice and short-answer questions, and Dig Deeper links to related resources. The lessons are well done, and you can even customize them to target goals or differentiate for individual learners. However, the less-than-clear topic organization is a drawback here -- you'll need to use a keyword search to find what's relevant to your class.
Superb at connecting science and humanities topics (self-assembly, network theory), the content is valuable -- and advanced! Try having kids preview a lesson at home, using the Discuss prompts to prep for classroom conversations. Or assign different lessons on energy technologies to small groups, targeting specific content to each. And keep in mind that the site is great for extension activities. As kids study states of matter, let your accelerated group tackle the “Why is glass transparent?” lesson. Be sure to offer some scaffolding in the form of Cornell notes. Kids will do a lot better as they record their learning and questions.
- "Biofuels and Bioprospecting for Beginners"
- "The History of the Barometer (and How It Works)"
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Construct an explanation of the Big Bang theory based on astronomical evidence of light spectra, motion of distant galaxies, and composition of matter in the universe.
Communicate scientific ideas about the way stars, over their life cycle, produce elements.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
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