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Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
This practical, hands-on course aims to help you start thinking like a scientist by carrying out experiments at home and making scientific observations.
You will carry out simple experiments to extract the DNA from fruit or vegetables, observe osmosis in action and bake a potato to destruction! You’ll also investigate how different liquids behave when frozen and how much water an everyday food item contains.
As you carry out these experiments you will develop important science-based skills including observation, record-keeping, data analysis and how to control an experiment. After examining your results, you will share them with other learners and discuss your findings.
This free course is intended for anyone with an interest in making scientific observations through experimentation, and does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.
The experiments do involve both hot and cold temperatures so younger learners may need supervision. As per the Conditions of use of Open University websites, to enrol on an OpenLearn course and participate in the forums, you must be aged 16 or over. Adults can use their own OpenLearn account to supervise under-16s on the course, posting comments on their behalf, and assisting with the experiments.
All of the experiments can be carried out with items you would find in a typical kitchen, but the Introduction to Week 1 provides a full equipment list.
After completing this course you will be able to:
- start thinking in a rigorous and scientific way
- recognise the influence of experimental design and variables
- consider how the world around you works.
Record of achievement
By enrolling on this course you can track your progress and gain a Statement of Participation for completing the whole course.
This OpenLearn science course is produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education, the educational arm of The Exilarch's Foundation.
Creative Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 12th October 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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