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Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) and TED, the nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” awarded 18 educators across the country with the opportunity to have their most impactful and influential lesson featured as an animated video on TED’s global TED-Ed website, which was built in part with a $1.25 million contribution from Kohl’s Cares®, as part of the “Lessons Worth Sharing” program. In addition, the winning educators and their nominators will receive a $100 Kohl’s Gift Card.
“As Kohl’s continues its commitment to kids education nationwide, Kohl’s is honored to recognize the amazing 18 educators through the ‘Lessons Worth Sharing’ program,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Whether their lesson is about Newton’s Laws of Motion, horticulture, or the Pythagorean Theorem, we are thrilled to reward these outstanding educators with the opportunity to have their greatest lessons reach and motivate learners around the world.”
School supporters visited Kohl’s Facebook page throughout the month of August and nominated their favorite educator. Nominees included teachers, parents, professionals, and anyone with a lesson worth teaching. The 18 winning educators were selected based on program criteria including, the ability to transform a lesson into a visual story in less than 3 minutes in length and the emotional impact and ability to inspire others, as outlined in the Official Rules.
Winning educators and their proposed lessons include:
Jason Shipinski, Elmwood Park, Illinois
Lesson Subject: Social Studies – Using a backdrop of medieval Japan, groups learn the value of teamwork, negotiation, and collaboration.
Amy Bissetta, Fayetteville, New York
Lesson Subject: Social Studies – In this lesson, students learn to think critically about the character traits of historical figures and how those traits impacted the course world history.
Lisa Chau, Hanover, New Hampshire
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – This lesson teaches students the importance of networking and leveraging social media in today's competitive market for jobs, internships and school admission.
Joy Lin, Austin, Texas
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – By relating pop culture to science concepts, this lesson engages students by making a connection between physics and super powers, such as flying and invisibility.
Bill Shillito, Marietta, Georgia
Lesson Subject: Mathematics – In this lesson, students learn some basic information about how matrix multiplication works and how some simple rearrangements of the matrices can make computation easier.
Jeffrey Steers, West Bend, Wisconsin
Lesson Subject: Social Studies – This lesson allows students to be thoroughly engaged with the historical events of the Space Race – from the tensions between the United States and Soviet Union in the early 1950s to the creation of NASA.
Mindy Ploeckelmann, Douglass, Kansas
Lesson Subject: Literature and Language -- Based on a literary discussion of Oscar Wilde’s writing, this lesson demonstrates how the choices we make in life change and form us.
Mary Koga, Brea, California
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – In this lesson, students use seed planting and observation to gain a grasp of good science methodologies and real-world science applications.
Amy Herman, New York, New York
Lesson Subject: Psychology – Using fine art, students learn the powers of observation and how memory enhances all aspects of our lives – from work to personal relationships – making us more focused, thoughtful, and less judgmental.
Matt Carlson, West Lafayette, Indiana
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – With the help of a demonstration involving a baseball bat and chandelier, students begin to understand quantum mechanics and how particles in nature are so tiny that they are changed by the mere act of being observed.
Matthew Ross, Toledo, Ohio
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – Whether it is digging up worms to learn more about soil contents or smelling plants to aid in identification, this lesson teaches aspects of horticulture and plant life.
Brian Jones, Fort Collins, Colorado
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – This lesson explores the force, power and science behind the cyclical motion of spinning, including an in-depth look at tornados and hurricanes.
Heather Tunnell, Lodi, California
Lesson Subject: Mathematics – In this lesson, students explore the concepts behind the Pythagorean Theorem.
Michelle Buchanan, Conway, Arkansas
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – In this video, students learn the significance of Newton’s Laws of Motion by identifying and refuting classic misconceptions concerning the causes of motion.
Christina Kleinberg, Malvern, Pennsylvania
Lesson Subject: Science and Technology – This lesson uses a tug-of-war game to demonstrate the water molecule and water properties.
Steven Claunch, Homestead, Florida
Lesson Subject: Other -- Through a personal story, this lesson will show that, despite physical limitations caused by birth defects, students can accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams.
Sue Fullmer, North Las Vegas, Nevada
Lesson Subject: Psychology – This lesson focuses on teaching young people self-worth and self awareness, and helping them understand that they are in charge of their lives and can create the life they want through their choices.
Melissa D’Annunzio, Summerville, South Carolina
Lesson Subject: Literature and Language – Using the backdrop of a shopping mall, this lesson teaches the concept of idioms, such as the expression “knowing something like the back of one’s hand.”
Earlier this spring, TED launched TED-Ed with support from Kohl’s Cares®. TED-Ed includes a groundbreaking website [
http://ed.ted.com] housed on
TED.com that enables teachers, parents, and anyone who wants to spread a lesson the ability to create unique customized lesson plans around TED-Ed video content. TED-Ed seeks to inspire curiosity by harnessing the talent of the world's best teachers and visualizers with new tools that spark and facilitate learning. One new innovative tool featured on the site allows teachers to “flip” a video, edit it, and create a tailored lesson rendered on a new and private web page. The creator of the lesson can then distribute it and track individual students’ progress as they complete the assignment. The TED-Ed site was built with support from Kohl’s Cares, and optimizes TED content for use in educational settings.
Kohl’s is committed to giving back to the communities it serves. In addition to the TED-Ed initiative, Kohl’s philanthropic programs include the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program, which sells special merchandise, including plush toys and books, and donates 100 percent of the net profit, more than $208 million since 2000, to benefit children’s health and education initiatives nationwide, a scholarship program that has awarded $3.4 million in scholarships and prizes, Kohl’s associate volunteer program that has donated more than $47 million since 2000, and a fundraising gift card program that has donated more than $35 million since 2000. For more information on Kohl’s philanthropic efforts, visit
About the TED-Ed Website
The site builds on TED-Ed content – available on the TED-Ed channel on YouTube – by allowing educators to create custom lessons around each video. Each video featured on the site is mapped, via tagging, to traditional subjects taught in schools and comes accompanied with supplementary materials that aid a teacher or student in using or understanding the video lesson. Supplementary materials include multiple-choice questions, open-answer questions, and links to more information on the topic. The most innovative feature of the site is that educators can customize these elements by flipping a video. In turn, the supplementary materials can be edited and the resulting lesson is rendered on a new and private web page. The creator of the lesson can then distribute it and track an individual student's progress as they complete the assignment.