Topic: problem solving

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Gitanjali Rao: Finding solutions to real problems

Colorado seventh-grader Gitanjali Rao wants to find solutions to real problems, so when she learned about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan on the news, she wanted to help. From Rookie Mag: After coming across a...

Squirrel Obstacle Course

"Part of the learning process is testing things out and making mistakes," so will these squirrels learn how to get across this squirrel obstacle course to get to their favorite nuts? The challenge: While the blue plat...

A raccoon demonstrates her problem solving skills

Rascal is a tame raccoon who uses her smarts and sensitive paws to open windows, unlock locks, and get to the tasty treat that awaits her. Can she make it through each obstacle? This impressive clip is from the BBC's ...

Cooling without polluting: Two new green air conditioning innovations

The starry night sky seems remarkably distant from the topic of air conditioning, but it’s revolutionizing the field in quite an unexpected way. In this episode of "The Spark," watch how scientists from across the glo...

Izzy Wheels: Sisters create an artist-designed wheelchair wheel cover business

When Izzy Keane was a little girl in Ireland, she would decorate the wheels of her wheelchair for special occasions. When her sister Ailbhe (pronounced Alva) Keane was in her final year at the National College of Art ...

Neil deGrasse Tyson tests ‘the world’s smartest dog’

Chaser the Border Collie can identify over 1022 toys. In 2011, astrophysicist and NOVA ScienceNOW host Neil deGrasse Tyson visited with Chaser and her owner, psychology professor Dr. John W. Pilley, to test her memory...

How to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics on Vacation

In the end, I avoided 79 pieces of single-use plastic and only used two on this weeklong trip. This experience reminded me that you don't have to be perfect. Even if you mess up along the way, doing something makes a ...

Building a prosthetic arm with parts from a LEGO Technic Air Race Jet

David Aguilar has built with LEGO since he was a kid. At nine years old, he built a prosthetic LEGO arm to augment his underdeveloped right arm, but the LEGO pieces weren't strong enough to meet the needs of his desig...

An innovative edible spoon, a smart alternative to plastic waste

Plastic cutlery has been around for years, widely considered the only choice for cheap, disposable cutlery. Knowing the threat plastic poses to our environment and health, Narayana Peesapaty created a tasty and nutrit...

Is Your Fleece Jacket Polluting The Oceans?

When you hear “plastic” pollution, you might picture six-pack rings wrapped around seagulls or beaches littered with plastic bottles. But now, researchers are discovering a new menace -- microfibers. They’re tiny stra...

How A Children’s Toy Led To An Essential Medical Device

"We were out in a primary health center talking to health care workers [in Uganda] and we found a centrifuge used as a doorstop because there's no electricity." The workers said that they really needed a powerful cent...

Catching fog to help combat Peru’s water shortage

Along the foggy coasts of Peru, where millions of people don't have access to clean water, Abel Cruz Gutiérrez helps catch 200 to 350 liters (around 50 to 100 gallons) of water per day with each 'fog catcher' he sets ...

Can you solve the fish riddle?

As the cargo director on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Buoyant, you’ve agreed to transport several tanks containing the last specimens of an endangered fish species to their new aquarium. Unfortunately, the boat is ba...

The power of creative constraints – TED Ed

Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or ... does it? if yo...

Chaser, the Border Collie that can understand 1022 words (or more)

Border Collies are known to be super smart and disciplined dogs that can take detailed verbal commands while herding sheep and performing other helpful tasks. How many verbal commands can they understand? This demonst...

A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang’s Incredible Paper Creations

Twenty five years ago, physicist Robert Lang worked at NASA, where he researched lasers. He has also garnered 46 patents on optoelectronics and even wrote a Ph.D. thesis called "Semiconductor Lasers: New Geometries an...

Seashell inspiration: Growing cement bricks with bacteria

Imagine an 8-year-old girl studying a seashell on the sand in Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1985. It's her first trip to the beach and it's a moment that will set the course of her career: “The 8-year-old version of mys...

Tents that turn into jackets: Humanitarian fashion by designer Angela Luna

In 2016, Parsons School of Design graduate Angela Luna designed a utilitarian collection of transformable outerwear to help address the shelter, flotation, and visibility challenges that confront refugees, "people who...

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