For any organization with such a prodigious output, there are going to be some hits and misses, but TED-Ed has maintained a very high standard.
Which is why I was very surprised and disappointed at their newest video and lesson on “The immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks.”
You probably are somewhat familiar with the story of the young African-American woman whose cells were taken from her (without her knowledge) and are now used around the world for medical research and which have generated huge profits for drug companies. Shockingly, the video only spends seconds on these issues and the lesson itself only briefly touches on those ethical and racial issues.
Check the video and lesson out and let me know if you think I’m over-reacting. Below the video, you can find additional resources on the issue that can be used to help students learn more…
Earlier this week, I saw some of my IB Theory of Knowledge students showing videos of machines they had created in Physics class, and thought they were pretty neat.
I asked our school’s talented Physics teacher, Arthur Sisneros, if he would mind writing a description of his lesson, and also invited teachers to share their videos.
Here’s Arthur’s description, along with a few student videos (I’ll be adding more as students remember to send them to me!):
The Rube Goldberg project is meant to be a summative assessment for my first semester. Like most physics classes, my first semester of physics is dominated by motion (kinematics, forces, momentum, and mechanical energy). I introduce the Rube Goldberg project at the end as an engineering project. We talk about engineering vs. science (defining problems and solving problems as opposed to asking questions and developing explanations). I also require them to include a theme and to be creative. After the project is built, I require them to isolate a few of the events, measure them (distance, time, mass, or whatever they need to measure), and use those measurements to calculate various quantities (average velocity, acceleration, force, etc.). On the presentation day, I have students do a gallery walk to see the other projects, and I conduct group interviews where I delve a little deeper into the understanding of the major physics topics.