1. Thomas Suarez: A 12-year-old app developer
Thomas Suarez, a 12 year old, taught himself to build iphone apps. His interest in technology and programming led him to learn Python, Java, and C “just to get the basics down.” He built Earth Fortune and then coaxed his parents into paying the $99 fee to get his app in the app store. He also started an app club at school to help other kids build and share their creations, and is now starting his own company, CarrotCorp.
2. 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.
3. Jack Andraka: A promising test for pancreatic cancer
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.
4. Sirena Huang: An 11-year-old’s magical violin
Sirena Huang started taking violin lessons at age 4 and made her professional solo debut at 9 with the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. She has won top prizes in numerous international competitions, delighting audiences worldwide with her virtuosity and charm.
In a charming interlude, the 11-year-old praises the timeless design of her instrument, and then proceeds to give a technically brilliant and emotionally nuanced performance.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao: 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.