Mensa For Kids Logo

Mensa for Kids TED Connections

Mensa for Kids TED Connections are short, easy-to-use guides designed to help teachers, parents, and youth use TED Talks in a classroom or home setting.

Rather than a lesson plan format, they have a list of discussion questions, all at higher levels of thinking. We include a variety of levels of questions and extension opportunities so that the TED Connections can be used by students at a wide range of grade levels. Feel free to select those questions and activities that will work best for the student(s) you are working with.

How We See Color

There are three types of color receptors in your eye: red, green and blue. But how do we see the kaleidoscope of other colors that make up our world? Colm Kelleher explains how humans can see everything from auburn to aquamarine.

Three Kinds of Bias That Shape Your Worldview

Meteorologist Dr. Marshall Shepherd explores how we can “expand our radius” and avoid three of the major types of bias that can shape your worldview.

The Happy Secret to Better Work

Was Shawn Achor’s little sister really a baby unicorn (as he convinced her)? In this funny talk, the CEO of Good Think Inc., discusses his research into positive psychology and argues that happiness inspires us to be more productive.

Don't Eat the Marshmallow

Joachim de Posada shares how delaying gratification of eating a marshmallow by 4-year-olds turned out to be a predictor of future success in life across cultures.

Original Thinkers

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant discusses the concept of “originals” and shares the unexpected habits they all seem to share.

The Power of Body Language

Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy explains the power behind nonverbal communication. She shares how, in a very short time, you can become more powerful. Dr. Cuddy explains the difference between “fake it ‘til you make it” and “fake it ‘til you become it,” and invites us all to put the ideas to the test, sharing the information to empower others.

How Books Are a Secret Door

Author Mac Barnett shares why he lies to children and it's a good thing. He explains the inviting magic that lies within fiction books and how make believe isn't always pretend, nor should it be.

Revealing Archimedes' Lost Codex

Curator extraordinaire Will Noel shares how it took a team of passionate people across a rainbow of disciplines to discover the lost words of an ancient Greek mathematician. He shares why he believes libraries must share to make sure that ancient manuscripts survive and gives us a new view on very old parchment.

Big Data Is Better Data

Kenneth Cukier challenges the future of big data in the modern age, giving a glimpse into its uses and possible abuses in a way that invites you to rethink what you thought you knew about computers, modern life, and information.

Choice and Spaghetti Sauce

Malcolm Gladwell explores what spaghetti sauce has to teach us about the way people make choices and whether too much choice is a bad thing.

The 30-Day Challenge

Is there something you've always meant to do, wanted to do, but just… haven't? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.

Underwater Astonishments

David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square's worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean.

Hidden Pigs

Christien Meindertsma, author of Pig 05049, looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.

The Shark-deterrent Wetsuit

Ocean swimmer and businessman Hamish Jolly shares how his company used science to create a shark-deterrent wetsuit. What sharks see influences what sharks attack, and delving into the science of what sharks see can save lives.

Shape-Shifting Dinosaurs

How many kinds of dinosaurs roamed the Earth? In this TED talk Jack Horner will change your mind forever about how scientists identify dinosaurs.

Leave the House

Explorer Ben Saunders shares why, even in the digital age, leaving the house is as important as it was 1,000 years ago. He explains the pull and passion of high adventure, and he invites everyone to "get out of the house."

The Language of Dolphins

For 28 years, Denise Herzing has spent five months each summer living with a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins, following three generations of family relationships and behaviors. It's clear they are communicating with one another — but is it language?

How Great Leaders Inspire

Thinker Simon Sinek explains why some leaders inspire while others don't. He shares the secrets to getting to why and how that can guide and inspire you and others.

Electrifying Cancer

Bill Doyle presents a new approach for treating cancer, called Tumor Treating Fields, which uses electric fields to interrupt cancer cell division.

The Power of Classical Music

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and, by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

Digging Ants

Dr. Deborah Gordon explores how simple parts of organizations interact to create the behavior of the whole organization using ant colonies as the model example.

An Olympic Why

Olympian Jeff Olson (alpine skiing, 1988 & 1992) encourages us to find our personal excellence and the role that physical health plays in helping individuals and nations get their game on.

Galaxies and Why They Matter

Harvard student scientist Henry Lin explores the beauty and potential of giant cluster galaxies and what the universe's most massive laboratories have to teach us.

The Dance of the Dung Beetle

Entomologist Marcus Byrne invites us into the fascinating world of the dung beetle, sharing how this remarkable insect uses celestial navigation and sophisticated temperature control techniques — all with a brain the size of a grain of rice.