Aaron Reedy

Graduate Fellow, Wide World Science
Charlottesville, VA, United States

About Aaron

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For the past seven years Reedy taught at Kelly High School in Chicago where he pushed the envelope of innovative teaching through projects that connected his classroom to the wider world of science. In pursuit of that goal he has completed a 1,000 mile expedition by kayak on the Mississippi River, immersed kids in field studies of reptile reproductive biology and climate change, and carried out professional level science in the classroom. He is currently working as a team member on a National Geographic/ Waitts grant to investigate the role that the sex ratio plays in evolution and population growth in island populations of lizards. His blog at wideworldscience.blogspot.com is his platform for bringing field biology into classrooms and sharing the work of his students with the world. He sees field biology and outdoor adventure sports as two sides of the same passion and is always looking forward to his next chance to climb, surf, snowboard, kayak, run, hike, dive or sail. This year Aaron began working on a PhD in evolutionary biology as a Jefferson Fellow at the University of Virginia.


Bislama, English

TED Conferences

TEDActive 2013, TED2012

An idea worth spreading

High caliber science can be done in a high school classroom. Last year my students and I, in conjunction with Iowa State and the National Science Foundation, conducted research to examine how female animals that lay eggs make their nest site choices and what the consequences of those choices are for their offspring. The experiment was large scale, involved more than a hundred animals in thirty enclosures and was almost entirely run by my high school students. Our results showed that nest site selection does has serious survival consequences across several life stages for hatchling lizards. Our work is currently under review for publication in an ecology journal. I am extremely proud that this work took place in my classroom on the south side of Chicago where more than 90% of my students live in poverty. Kids are capable of so much more when we change our notions of what is possible. Science education needs to look a whole lot more like real science.

I'm passionate about

Creating a new format for science education where the line between students and the cutting edge of science is greatly diminished. The best way to learn science is to DO science.


University of Virgina

Talk to me about

Evolution and Ecology
Science and Science Education
Outdoor Adventure

My TED story

I first heard of TED when I was invited to speak at TEDxSMU in 2009. I had my mind blown there at what was an all around really great event. In 2012 I was a speaker at TED and shortly thereafter helped create one of the early TED-Ed videos. I am a TED fan and feel really lucky to have been involved over the last few years.

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