TED Ed is one of my favourite video resources that I have been recommending for teachers over the last few years. TED Ed features short video explanations (usually less than 5 minutes) covering different educational topics including science, history, physics, sports, media literacy skills, mental health, math, animals, art, planet earth, brain, genetics, technology, literature, coding, and many more.
The purpose of this post is to share with you this collection of amazing TED Ed riddles to use with your kids and students. I curated the list from TED Ed YouTube riddle series and only featured those popular riddles as measured by number of views and audience interaction.
These TED Ed riddles can be used to engage students in a wide variety of activities that require them to use various cognitive skills including analytical thinking, problem solving, strategic thinking, decision making, critical thinking, and many more.
1. Can you solve the prisoner hat riddle? – Alex Gendler
You and nine other individuals have been captured by super-intelligent alien overlords. The aliens think humans look quite tasty, but their civilization forbids eating highly logical and cooperative beings. Unfortunately, they’re not sure whether you qualify, so they decide to give you all a test. Can you solve this hat riddle? Alex Gendler shows how.
2. Can you solve the bridge riddle? Alex Gendler
Stuck with your friends in a remote area where zombies are chasing you. The bridge is your saviour and you need to use your math skills to cross it. Educator Alex Gendler shows you how.
3. Can you solve the three gods riddle? – Alex Gendler
In this logic puzzle, you and your team have landed in an alien planet ruled by three gods. Your task is to try to escape and get back home safely. Alex Gendler explains how.
4.Can you solve the passcode riddle? – Ganesh Pai
“In a dystopian world, your resistance group is humanity’s last hope. Unfortunately, you’ve all been captured by the tyrannical rulers and brought to the ancient coliseum for their deadly entertainment. Will you be able to solve the passcode riddle and get everyone out safely? Ganesh Pai shows how.”
5. Can you solve the river crossing riddle? – Lisa Winer
Three lions and three wildebeests need to urgently escape the raging fires in the forest and their only gateway to safety is a river infested with crocodiles. Your job is to help them cross the river using the one raft remaining. Lisa Winter explains how.
6. Can you solve the giant cat army riddle? – Dan Finkel
“The villainous Dr. Schrödinger has developed a growth ray and intends to create an army of giant cats to terrorize the city. Your team of secret agents has tracked him to his underground lab. You burst in to find… that it’s a trap! Can you escape from Dr. Schrödinger’s lair and save the day? Dan Finkel shows how.”
7. Can you solve “Einstein’s Riddle”? – Dan Van der Vieren
“Before he turned physics upside down, a young Albert Einstein supposedly showed off his genius by devising a complex riddle involving a stolen exotic fish and a long list of suspects. Can you resist tackling a brain teaser written by one of the smartest people in history? Dan Van der Vieren shows how.”
8. Can you solve the prisoner boxes riddle? – Yossi Elran
“Your favorite band is great at playing music…but not so great at being organized. They keep misplacing their instruments on tour, and it’s driving their manager mad. Can you solve the brain-numbing riddle their manager assigns them and make sure the band stays on their label? Yossi Elran shows how.”
9. Can you solve the counterfeit coin riddle? – Jennifer Lu
“You’re the realm’s greatest mathematician, but ever since you criticized the Emperor’s tax laws, you’ve been locked in the dungeon. Luckily for you, one of the Emperor’s governors has been convicted of paying his taxes with a counterfeit coin, which has made its way into the treasury. Can you earn your freedom by finding the fake? Jennifer Lu shows how.”
10. Can you solve the airplane riddle? – Judd A. Schorr
“Professor Fukanō, the famous scientist, has embarked on a new challenge – piloting around the world in a plane of his own design. There’s just one problem: there’s not enough fuel to complete the journey. Luckily, there are two other planes to help. Can you help the professor fly for the whole trip and achieve his dream, without anyone running out of fuel and crashing? Judd A. Schorr shows how.”
11. Can you solve the famously difficult green-eyed logic puzzle? – Alex Gendler
“One hundred green-eyed logicians have been imprisoned on an island by a mad dictator. Their only hope for freedom lies in the answer to one famously difficult logic puzzle. Can you solve it? Alex Gendler walks us through this green-eyed riddle.”
12. Can you solve the locker riddle? – Lisa Winer
“Your rich, eccentric uncle just passed away, and you and your 99 nasty relatives have been invited to the reading of his will. He wanted to leave all of his money to you, but he knew that if he did, your relatives would pester you forever. Can you solve the riddle he left for you and get the inheritance? Lisa Winer shows how. “
13. Can you solve the virus riddle? – Lisa Winer
“Your research team has found a prehistoric virus preserved in the permafrost and isolated it for study. After a late night working, you’re just closing up the lab when a sudden earthquake hits and breaks all the sample vials. Will you be able to destroy the virus before the vents open and unleash a deadly airborne plague? Lisa Winer shows how. “
14. Can you solve the egg drop riddle? – Yossi Elran
“The city has just opened its one-of-a-kind Faberge Egg Museum, with a single egg displayed on each floor of a 100-story building — and the world’s most notorious jewel thief already has her eyes on the prize. Can you help the thief formulate a plan that will drop the most expensive egg she can get safely into her waiting truck? Yossi Elran shows how.”
15. Can you solve the temple riddle? – Dennis E. Shasha
“Your expedition finally stands at the heart of the ancient temple. But as you study the inscriptions in the darkness, two wisps of green smoke burst forth. The walls begin to shake. The giant sandglass begins flowing with less than an hour before it empties, and a rumbling tells you that you don’t want to be around when that happens. Can you use math to escape the temple? Dennis E. Shasha shows how. “
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