NPR: How Do Simple Questions Lead To Big Discoveries?

This morning, the TED Radio Hour (National Public Radio) shared this page with me through my RSS reader.

I was immediately interested in the title, so I watched the video.  The first example made me think - Oh, wow! Every PYP teacher investigating force and motion needs to see this!

Screen shot of
"When Richard Feynman was a young boy in Queens, he went for a walk with his dad and his wagon and a ball. And he noticed that when he pulled the wagon, the ball went to the back of the wagon. And he asked his dad, why does the ball go to the back of the wagon? And his dad said, that's inertia. He said, what's inertia? And his dad said, ah, inertia is the name that scientists give to the phenomenon of the ball going to the back of the wagon." (link)

"SAVAGE: One of the funny things about owning a brain is that you have no control over the things that it gathers and holds onto, the facts and the stories. And as you get older, it only gets worse. Things stick around for years sometimes before you understand why you're interested in them, before you understand they're important to you."(link)


This is Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode From Curiosity To Discovery. "Why do some people spend years trying to answer a single question, or even risk their lives to discover something new? In this hour, TED speakers explore how curiosity leads to unexpected places."

On the web page, there's an excellent audio interview with Adam Savage. (The transcript is here.)

There are many more bits of the interview and the video that will help  PYP teachers clarify their own thinking about units of inquiry in which their own knowledge base may be a little shaky.

And the video itself is a great example of good "Powerpoint" - complex ideas are illustrated clearly and simply.  I wondered if TED had any "behind the scenes" videos that would help me understand how this video was made.  I found http://ed.ted.com/lessons/making-a-ted-ed-lesson-visualizing-complex-ideas  which helps a bit.