Lesson Plan Created by AISD Teacher Shared Globally as a TED-Ed Animated Series

A lesson plan created by a Linder Elementary School teacher has been developed into an animated educational video by TED, a nonprofit organization famous for its inspirational 18-minute talks and its “Ideas Worth Sharing” tagline, and is now being shared globally with learners from all over the world.

Joy Lin, the math specialist at Linder Elementary School, created a lesson that uses pop culture and superheroes to explain complicated theories in physics, biology and chemistry. 

Lin’s lesson plan was selected by TED as one of only 18 in the nation to be developed into an animated video for TED’s educational TED-Ed website.

Each winning lesson has been developed into a three-minute animated video, but Lin’s lesson was the only one selected by TED-ED to be developed into a series of six animated videos, instead of one. 

“TED and TED-Ed are recognized and respected around the world, and it is a huge honor to have my lesson selected for a whole series,” Lin said. “My passion is inspiring students and sparking their interest and understanding in math and science. I can’t think of a better way to do this than through an innovative animation.” 

The six-part series of animated videos were launched in late June and are narrated by voice-over actor James Arnold Taylor. Taylor is also the voice behind Fred Flintstone and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Leonardo, among other animated characters. Lin's videos use superpowers, including— super speedsuper strengthinvisibilitybody massimmortality and flight—to explain complicated concepts. The videos have already been viewed by thousands since their launch on June 27. 

TED, along with Kohl’s Department Stores, launched the national competition last year to discover and share the most impactful and influential lessons on the TED-Ed website. Nominees for the award included teachers, parents and professionals from around the nation, and winners were selected based on program criteria that included their ability to transform a lesson into a visual story in less than three minutes in length, and to inspire others with their creative approaches.  

Lin first got the idea for her lessons while teaching at the Travis County Detention Center. Many of her students either struggled with math and science or were not interested in the subjects. Lin was encouraged by her mentor, Jim Britt, to think outside the box in order to achieve her goals.

To spark the interest of students and change their perception of the subjects, Lin decided to create a lesson that uses superheroes and pop culture to explain often-complicated concepts including Newton’s Laws of Motion and the Law of Conservation of Mass.  

To view the videos, visit the TED-Ed website