playlist

Talks by brilliant kids and teens

Talks from scientists, musicians, innovators, activists -- all under the age of 20. Watch these amazing wunderkinds.

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  1. 3:32
    Taylor Wilson Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor

    Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents' garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.

  2. 10:49
    Jack Andraka A promising test for pancreatic cancer ... from a teenager

    Over 85 percent of all pancreatic cancers are diagnosed late, when someone has less than two percent chance of survival. How could this be? Jack Andraka talks about how he developed a promising early detection test for pancreatic cancer that's super cheap, effective and non-invasive — all before his 16th birthday.

  3. 12:38
    Memory Banda A warrior’s cry against child marriage

    Memory Banda’s life took a divergent path from her sister’s. When her sister reached puberty, she was sent to a traditional “initiation camp” that teaches girls “how to sexually please a man.” She got pregnant there — at age 11. Banda, however, refused to go. Instead, she organized others and asked her community’s leader to issue a bylaw that no girl should be forced to marry before turning 18. She pushed on to the national level … with incredible results for girls across Malawi.

  4. 24:41
    Sirena Huang An 11-year-old's magical violin

    Violinist Sirena Huang gives a technically brilliant and emotionally nuanced performance. In a charming interlude, the 11-year-old praises the timeless design of her instrument.

  5. 7:20
    Richard Turere My invention that made peace with lions

    In the Maasai community where Richard Turere lives with his family, cattle are all-important. But lion attacks were growing more frequent. In this short, inspiring talk, the young inventor shares the solar-powered solution he designed to safely scare the lions away.

  6. 4:40
    Thomas Suarez A 12-year-old app developer

    Most 12-year-olds love playing videogames — but Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like "Bustin Jeiber," a whack-a-mole game, he is now using his skills to help other kids become developers.

  7. 15:25
    Beau Lotto + Amy O'Toole Science is for everyone, kids included

    What do science and play have in common? Neuroscientist Beau Lotto thinks all people (kids included) should participate in science and, through the process of discovery, change perceptions. He's seconded by 12-year-old Amy O'Toole, who, along with 25 of her classmates, published the first peer-reviewed article by schoolchildren, about the Blackawton bees project. It starts: "Once upon a time ... "

  8. 8:47
    Sleepy Man Banjo Boys Bluegrass virtuosity from ... New Jersey?

    All under the age of 16, brothers Jonny, Robbie and Tommy Mizzone are from New Jersey, a US state that's better known for the rock of Bruce Springsteen than the bluegrass of Earl Scruggs. Nonetheless, the siblings began performing bluegrass covers, as well as their own compositions, at a young age. Here, they play three dazzling songs in three different keys, passing the lead back and forth from fiddle to banjo to guitar.

  9. 5:59
    William Kamkwamba How I harnessed the wind

    At age 14, in poverty and famine, a Malawian boy built a windmill to power his family's home. Now at 22, William Kamkwamba, who speaks at TED, here, for the second time, shares in his own words the moving tale of invention that changed his life.

  10. 7:30
    Tavi Gevinson A teen just trying to figure it out

    Fifteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson had a hard time finding strong female, teenage role models — so she built a space where they could find each other. At TEDxTeen, she illustrates how the conversations on sites like Rookie, her wildly popular web magazine for and by teen girls, are putting a new, unapologetically uncertain and richly complex face on modern feminism.

  11. 16:16
    Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose + Naomi Shah Award-winning teenage science in action

    In 2011 three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair. Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah describe their extraordinary projects — and their route to a passion for science.

  12. 24:05
    Jennifer Lin Improvising on piano, aged 14

    Pianist and composer Jennifer Lin gives a magical performance, talks about the process of creativity and improvises a moving solo piece based on a random sequence of notes.

  13. 9:20
    Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria

    Once it's created, plastic (almost) never dies. While in 12th grade Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao went in search of a new bacteria to biodegrade plastic — specifically by breaking down phthalates, a harmful plasticizer. They found an answer surprisingly close to home.

  14. 8:12
    Adora Svitak What adults can learn from kids

    Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.