Using Topological Data Analysis to Assess NBA Teams

The goal of this lesson is for students to use analytics, topological data analysis specifically, to assess a team’s likelihood of advancing to the 2014 NBA Finals. The lesson should also prompt students to think critically about analytics and determine both its strengths and weaknesses in making sports decisions.

The President of Social Media

The objective of this lesson is for students to recognize the positive and/or negative impact that photos or statements made on social media can have on themselves and the broader community.
When Barack Obama was reelected as President of the United States of America, he tweeted and posted a photo with a caption of “Four more years.” That picture became the most liked in Facebook history and most Retweeted in Twitter history.

Charity Through Consumerism: How To Create Your Own Socially Conscious Company

The objective of this lesson is for students to create their own business models and identify ways that their companies can be charitable.

Fashion companies like TOMS and Warby Parker are what some people call socially conscious companies. For every pair of TOMS shoes sold in a first world country, TOMS donates a pair of its shoes to a person in a third world country. Warby Parker does the same with prescriptive glasses. These charitable tie-ins allow consumers to feel good about their purchases knowing that a donation is being made on their behalf.

From Order to Chaos: Analyze and Create “The Harlem Shake!”

In this lesson, students will analyze examples of the wildly popular Internet meme “The Harlem Shake,” they will think about the elements of order and chaos that comprise these moments of popular culture, and they will create their own “Harlem Shake” by thinking about and re-enacting structures of order and intrusions of disorder in our society.

Comparative Hip-Hop Analysis

The goal of this lesson is for students to learn how to write a comparative analysis essay by comparing and contrasting today’s Hip-Hop with Hip-Hop from the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Jay-Z: Agent to the Stars

Using Jay-Z’s newest business venture as an example, students learn about the business behind professional sports by acting out a contract negotiation.

Who Said It? Rapper or Nah?

Hip-Hop in its truest form was intended to serve as a modern day form of Rhetoric.

Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art performed by writers and speakers to educate, persuade, or motivate an audience during the time of Aristotle in Ancient Greece. Rhetoric, Grammar and Logic, are the three ancient arts of discourse. The Emcee or Emceeing is the Hip-Hop art form that utilizes rap for these same purposes. Many cultures get their news, current events and history from music, Hip-Hop is no different.

Wisdom comes from the unlikeliest of places. Take this quiz to try and guess what mastermind delivered these valuable life lessons.


How Street Smart Are You?

We’ve all heard the stories, the kid who couldn’t quite cut it in school but still found a way to beat the odds and become a success. Started from the bottom…well, you know the rest. Being “book smart” and excelling in the classroom is important, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. Many successful people like Jay-Z, Mark Zuckerberg and even Katy Perry have reached their goals by making the most of the skills they have learned outside of the classroom, or what we commonly refer to as “street smarts”.


When we think of being “street smart” the assumption is that this pertains to someone who has learned how to adapt and survive in a tough neighborhood or has taken the code of the streets and applied it to the business world. Street smarts is actually a measure of one’s resilience, adaptability, resourcefulness, critical thinking and problem solving skills. All of which are key skills for the 21st century.


There are no rules that say you can only be book smart or street smart and not both. Street smarts also has nothing to do with the crime rate in your city and your ability to avoid danger. It is a measure of your ability to problem solve when presented with an unforeseen obstacle. Many jobs of the future will no longer come with instructions or training, computers will take care of most of the routine work. Jobs of the future will be based on one’s ability to react in the moment, think critically and solve problems that computers can’t. Street smarts have less to do with how well you know the streets, and more to do with adapting to change, overcoming obstacles and solving problems with limited resources.

Take the quiz below to test your street smarts and see if you’re ready to take on the world!