5 TED Talks Every Teacher Should Share with Their Students

Friday, January 27, 2017 -- Megan Sternke

Inspiration can come in many forms, and figuring out exactly what will resonate with your students to help them engage in learning and pursue their passions can be a tricky task. Seeing what other kids their age have accomplished can be a powerful motivator, and TED Talks are a great way to help your students do so. Here are 5 of our favorite TED Talks presented by kids, for kids, to open up your students’ minds to just how much they’re capable of accomplishing.

Maya Penn: Meet a young entrepreneur, cartoonist, designer, activist...

She started her own company at 8, was interviewed by Forbes at 10, is a passionate advocate for sustainability, and a talented animator to top it all off! Share Maya’s inspiring, high-energy talk with your students to help them understand the power (and possibility) of pursuing all of their interests.

Jack Andrata: A promising test for pancreatic cancer...from a teenager

After losing a close family friend to pancreatic cancer, Jack Andrata set out find a way to diagnose the disease more quickly and accurately. Relying on his own research and experimentation, Jack has developed a detection test that is inexpensive, non-invasive, and effective. Check out his upbeat talk to help your students believe in their ability to tackle big problems—and make a big difference.

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

What’s wrong with being childish? Precocious 12-year-old Adora Svitak argues absolutely nothing! Her humor-filled talk will help your students run with their own bold ideas, wild imaginations, and most importantly, boundless optimism.

Thomas Suarez: A 12-year-old app developer

For the budding computer programmers in your classroom, Thomas Suarez’s talk is a must-listen. Instead of just playing video games, he taught himself how to create them. With two apps available on the iPhone App Store already, he is now using his skills to inspire other kids to become developers.

Richard Turere: My invention that made peace with lions

Lion attacks were growing to be a problem in the East African Maasai community that’s home to Richard Turere and his family. To protect the cattle that are their livelihood, Richard developed solar-powered “lion lights”. Share Richard’s inspiring talk with your students to motivate them to unleash their own innovative spirits!

In need of a little dose of motivation for yourself? Once your students have been properly inspired, check out these four TED Talks for educators