Max Ventilla on why he thinks its time for a new way to educate kids and how his startup could be a way to do it.
Hamish Brewer, the unconventional principal of Fred Lynn Middle School, went viral and won praise for his work turning the school around. But can he rally the school to the next huge milestone - regaining accreditation? Since moving from New Zealand to the United States, tattooed, skateboarding principal Hamish Brewer has helped inspire teachers and students at lower-income schools to smash people’s expectations. After his...
When you think of homelessness, you typically don't picture homeless children. However, every year, approximately 2.5 million children experience homelessness. Homeless children can't learn when they don't know where their next meal is coming from, or what is waiting for them at home. They often struggle in public schools where they feel out of place, or unable to keep up because they've missed schooling in the past....
AltSchool wants to build a new school system based on a highly personalized education model that any school could join.
To hear Hamish Brewer speak is to be inspired. About education. About life. About the possibilities of it all. And for disadvantaged youths that come from poverty and broken homes, the New Zealander with an infectious energy works hard to encourage them to excel, not only in school, but in life. About Hamish Brewer With a shaved head, tattoos, and one of those loud, larger-than-life personalities, Hamish Brewer is hard to...
“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them thrive.”
“T-bone steak, cheese eggs, and Welch’s grape.” Yo Stay Hungry competitions are simple: teams of contestants prepare dishes mentioned in rap lyrics, coached by a professional chef mentor.
Humanity is locked in an arms race with diseases: we update our vaccines, and diseases evolve new ways to try to sneak past them. Cutting-edge research is exploring how to stimulate immunity without using vaccines, using the new gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.
Neuroscientists say that we may be ignoring a basic fact that could defuse the "screen-time wars" between parents and kids.
These key players are working from outside the system to lead the criminal justice reform movement.
In the middle of New York City sits an unexpected sight: a boathouse; and inside is an unexpected group of rowers: middle and high schoolers from across the city’s fragile communities. Every year, in this place, thousands of kids show up to find something in themselves — whether strength, confidence, discipline, or community — that can make a difference in their lives. Row New York is one of the most successful after-school...
Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in Brooklyn as they responded to a recent shooting in a nearby neighborhood.
Every night, young adults pass through the basement door of the Lakeview Lutheran Church, close to the heart of Boystown, the gay neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. Like many institutions in Lakeview, the church offers a place specifically welcoming to the LGBTQ community. These young adults are taking refuge at The Crib, an overnight emergency shelter for people aged 18 to 24 who find themselves temporarily homeless. Founded by The Night Ministry in 2011, The Crib is one of the few places in the city where young LGBTQ adults, especially those of color, can find housing and community with others their age in similar situations.
Hordes of bright orange lifejackets are strewn across the rocky beaches of the Greek island of Lesbos. Discarded after a perilous journey at sea, they exemplify the risk that refugees are willing to take in search of a better life. Men, women, and children arrive at Lesbos by the hundreds — sometimes, as many as 500 in one day. Many come across the Mediterranean, where war or other factors threaten a safe way of life. Now,...
From newborn health to AIDS treatment to DNA research, these brilliant women paved the way for incredible advances in the field of medicine.
We’re now starting to scratch the surface of the true potential of virtual reality.
As more and more former football players exhibit symptoms of CTE, one company thinks their new helmet can address the problem of player safety.
The "Ride Home Program" sends drivers to pick up former inmates on their first day of freedom to help ensure a smooth transition in those first few critical hours.
The maker movement is grieving a big loss with the shutdown of Maker Media. Freethink's Alexandra Cardinale spoke with some of the most creative people at the final Maker Faire.
Climate change is increasingly reshaping our world, but communities across America aren’t losing hope — they’re taking action. Learn how 18 communities are using science to guide community-based decision-making.
Meet the classroom assistant of the future, a robot for autism therapy that’s teaching special needs students about empathy and emotions.
A step forward for space tourism, extreme poverty could be on its way out, and illustrating advanced tech. These are our favorite stories of the week.
Despite 2016 being widely panned, there were also truly good things that happened over the past year. Here are some of the big ones.
Why learning to suck at something is the only way to get good at it.
While the press tends to emphasize bad news, there are less covered stories of people from different backgrounds and beliefs coming together.
The story of how 3D printing gave Ryan Hines a chance to regain his independence for $150. And how he's now offering the same chance to others.
Computer hackers exploit flaws in code to access systems and take what they want; plant diseases work the same way.
Half of scientists have failed to replicate their own work — but they rarely come forward. A new project wants to change that.
Vitamin D deficiency is an age-old problem, but new techniques from archaeology may be the key to catching it early.
When lives are on the line, inspiration can come from the most unlikely places.
Businesses have gotten to space; now what?
Why does pain hurt more for some people? Why do others feel nothing at all?
It's not the next Bitcoin (or a path to riches), but it's an intriguing idea.
Drugs couldn’t stop her infection — so she asked Ben Chan to get her a virus, instead.
MaCauley Wanner and Ryan Palibroda’s design studio, Alleles, began as an unorthodox college thesis project. It is now a premier boutique where amputees can be fitted for fashionable limb covers that make their prosthetic limbs stylish and eye-catching. These designers hope their fashions will help reduce the stigma that comes with prosthetics.
The only treatment for retinoblastoma is surgical removal of the eye—but scientists may have found another way: cancer-killing viruses.
Creating a civilian review board to oversee police conduct seems like a straightforward solution to disciplinary issues on the force. But why is it so hard to implement?
Companies gather to discuss impact of A.I. A possible neural lace breakthrough. And unmanned cargo ships. This is the coolest stuff we've read this week.
Building a new, community-based foster care system
For many cancer patients, being treated at home is just as safe, more affordable, and more convenient than being treated in a clinical setting.
Rethinking Autism: Interview with NeuroTribes Author Steve Silberman
As the founder of Fathers New Mexico, Barry McIntosh is on a mission to help young fathers understand how important the early parenting years really are.
“Whether you live in the developed world or the developing world, the further you travel outside of a major city, the harder it is for you to access the medicine you need to stay healthy and alive.”
Growing Home’s organic urban farms use agriculture as a vehicle for providing job training for people with employment barriers, whether due to prior convictions, medical concerns, poverty, homelessness, or any other issues which make gainful employment difficult.
Jacquie Berglund considers herself more of a wine drinker than a beer drinker, yet she is building an empire around the beer brand, Finnegans. When Berglund purchased the brand for only a dollar, she knew that if Finnegans were to make an impact, the beer needed to be in every pub in Minnesota. Now you can find Finnegans in four Midwest states. But Finnegans is more than a beer company. From combating food insecurity to...
The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is now the second deadliest on record. The epicenter is in North Kivu, a conflict-torn province which shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda. Ugandan Ebola cases were the first to cross borders from the current Congo outbreak. Now, a new trial study in Uganda could hold the key to stopping the spread of this devastating disease.
Volunteers worldwide are documenting the world's rarest languages in a project called Wikitongues. Over a thousand volunteers (and counting) from around the world make videos of people speaking their native language — introducing themselves, providing an oral history, or just talking about their culture — then upload it to an online database. The archive is available on the web as a free language encyclopedia. Soon they will also be available at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
How do you bounce back from a life-changing car accident? Adam Gorlitsky decided he would break a world record. Adam was paralyzed from the waist down in a terrible wreck and thought his track and field days were over. But once approved for an experimental exoskeleton, he gained the ability to walk again and decided to start training. And racing. And breaking records. What he didn’t realize is how much he would inspire...
The Master’s Apprentice is an organization that recruits young people from rough backgrounds - and gives them the skills to find quality careers in the trades. “There’s a huge gap between youth looking for an opportunity... and businesses looking for quality employees.” It’s been a problem for a long time. Urban youth without college educations find few opportunities, and often get stuck in menial jobs. On the other...
Traditional methods of vaccination have come up against difficult challenges. They can also be expensive and time-consuming to produce, curtailing efforts to control outbreaks or head off a flu season caused by an unexpected strain. A newer type of vaccines, using RNA, could alleviate these issues. Faster, cheaper, and safer, RNA vaccines show great potential to meet evolving threats.
Teen pregnancy is highly linked to poverty and lower educational outcomes. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, compared with 90% of women without a teen birth. This is a vulnerable population who often have nowhere to turn. Early and effective intervention can give mothers the tools to continue their education and become self-sufficient, giving them a path to self-sufficiency changes...
When their autistic son fell in love with a virtual reality headset, Vibha and Vijay Ravindran got an idea: could this unlimited digital world help people who have trouble engaging in the physical world? Together, they founded a company called Floreo to develop VR programs for people with developmental disabilities, helping them break free from the constraints of their bodies and the typical pressures of their learning...
Love is important to all of us - so why aren’t we better at it? Nate Bagley, host of the Loveumentary podcast, interviewed hundreds of successful couples. He found many traditional ideas of love are wrong. In this interview, he explains how to have better relationships and reveals key insights about love that aren’t taught in school. He hopes that by improving our love lives, we can learn to foster better relationships...
1 in 10 people in the world today can’t read. Pratham’s innovative approach is helping kids in developing countries learn to read in as little as 50 days. Pratham’s methodology centers around teaching children based on their level rather than their age or grade. It began in India, where most kids are in school - but many aren’t able to read at grade level. The success of the core approach - teaching kids at their level and...
A Freethink update: It's been several months since we first brought you the story of journalist Jamie Kalven and his influential "Sixteen Shots" expose in Slate that depicted a corrupt Chicago police department in the midst of a cover-up following the racist killing of teenager Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. Since then, Kalven has written another critical piece, this...
Meaghan Good has made it her life’s mission to track missing people. She runs The Charley Project, an important database compiling information on thousands of missing persons cases in one place. Growing up with autism, Meaghan was bullied at school and dropped out at an early age. She credits her autism with providing a singular focus, which in her case centered around true crime and unsolved cases of missing and exploited...
Wolves are not often thought of as service animals, but Wolf Connections is changing that perception while helping troubled youth in the process. Wolf Connection is a wolf sanctuary that provides an education and empowerment program geared towards teens who are struggling through a variety of behavioral issues. At-risk youth from all walks of life learn about nature and conservation, they’re able to work through the...
We take a look at a few of the not-so-obviously-bizarre things we've launched beyond the earth's atmosphere.
When we encounter ideas we don’t like, we often shut them down. John Inazu, the author of Confident Pluralism and the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University School of Law, explains why that’s a bad thing and what we can do to fix it.
Flexport's founder discusses the personal and business side of building an ambitious startup.
Luke Kenworthy put everything he had into making his business work. But it didn't pan out. Now he's sharing what he learned through it all.
The unbelievable story of the day Jordan Riley was declared brain dead and his journey of re-learning how to be human.
Rethinking the MRI machine, how will Christianity handle advanced tech, and is this 7-year-old the next Einstein?