Skip to content

OU on the BBC: Battle of the Geeks - Taking it further

Updated Tuesday 26th September 2006

Want to try out some science for yourself? Want to go deeper? Follow our ideas for taking it further.

Launching a plane Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team

If you feel inspired by the Battle of the Geeks, why not explore some of our specially selected weblinks and suggested courses for further study?

Beginner's guide to aerodynamics - an explanation of how aerodynamics influences everything from baseballs to jet airliners as they make their ways from A to B

Rockets - NASA produced guides to the history and science of rockets, aimed at various age groups

The Whittle Jet Propulsion Gas Turbine - pdf of the original 1945 article from The Engineer magazine explaining the newly invented jet engine

How do missiles turn? - explanation of aerodynamics of weapons systems from Aerospaceweb

The A380 - explore the largest passenger plane the world has yet seen


How do planes fly? - NASA guide for young children explaining the basics of aeronautics

The BBC and the Open University are not responsible for the content of external websites

If you want to become your own science expert, the Open University has a number of courses which may interest you.

If you want to get to grips with maths or need a refresher:
Starting with maths (Y162)
Starting with maths will help you feel more confident in using maths in a variety of different situations – at home, in work or in your other studies. You'll improve your mathematical skills, develop problem-solving strategies to help you when you get stuck and practise general study skills to help you become an effective learner.


If you're fascinated by the power of computers to process facts and figures:
Data, computing and information (M150)
The focus of this course is the transformation of data into information; you'll learn how data is captured, processed, stored, displayed and shared, and get an introduction into computer programming.

To get an overview of studying science, maths and technology:
Breakthrough to mathematics, science and technology (Y153)
Starting from an assumption that you have an interest but no specialist background, Breakthrough introduces you to some of the concepts you'll come across studying at degree level, while helping you develop the skills you'll need.

If you'd like to make a start in science:
Discovering science (S103)
What happened when the universe was created? How do drugs work? What is radioactive decay? Why do earthquakes occur where they do? These and many other awesome questions are explored across twelve blocks of study.

If the engineering of the plane and rocket was what caught your imagination:
Engineering the future (T173)
This course equips you to understand the wide range of endeavour which comes under the term 'engineering' - how it has evolved with the discovery of new techniques, and even where it might take us in the future.

If you'd like to learn more about the role ICT plays in our everyday lives:
Networked living: Exploring Information and Communication Technologies (T175)
Do you ever wonder how networked systems work? How can an email message find its way to the other side of the world in seconds? How can you browse the web while you are out-and-about? This course looks inside these technologies, explores how they work in a range of situations (including entertainment, transport and health) and considers where they might take us next.


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Maths for science and technology Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Maths for science and technology

Youre about to start a course in science and technology and you're wondering whether your level of maths is going to be enough to get you through. This free course, Maths for science and technology, will show you how to reflect on what you know, identify which skills you might need for your course, and help you to learn those skills using worked examples and activities.

Free course
15 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology 

Succeed with maths – Part 1

If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this free course is for you. It will guide you through how numbers are put together, give you confidence with using percentages, fractions and negative numbers and provide you with problem solving skills for your everyday life and the wider world.

Free course
24 hrs
Mastering systems thinking in practice Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Peshkova/Getty Images Plus free course icon Level 3 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Mastering systems thinking in practice

This free course, Mastering systems thinking in practice, provides a primer for someone wanting to take the postgraduate qualifications in Systems Thinking in Practice. It will help you develop new ways of thinking about and approaching situations that cross multiple discipline and skill boundaries. You will learn to think more holistically about complex and messy situations, understanding the roles other people play, taking account of the interconnectedness of all the components making up the problem situation and working more collaboratively

Free course
24 hrs
Should I use a skills-based CV to smooth the gaps in my employment history? Creative commons image Icon Worldskills UK under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license article icon

Money & Business 

Should I use a skills-based CV to smooth the gaps in my employment history?

If you've had breaks in your career, a skills-based CV might help present your abilities in the best light.


Money & Business 

Fundamentals of accounting

Learn about the essential numerical and double-entry skills required for accounting. This free course, Fundamentals of accounting, will explain the fundamental purpose and role of accounting as well as the double-entry rules that are the foundation of all financial records and reports in any modern business.

Free course
8 hrs

Money & Business 

What is strategy?

Thinking about strategy generates many controversial questions. This free course, What is strategy?, focuses on practitioner views of strategy. You will learn about application of its major theoretical advances in professional life. The course provides definitions of the concept of strategy and strategy-related vocabulary and examines Mintzberg's five Ps framework.

Free course
5 hrs

Money & Business 

Understanding your sector

This free course, Understanding your sector, will help you to understand the difference between sectors, industries and professions. It will also help you to gain the inside knowledge to impress in applications and at interviews and to put together an action plan that is tailored to you.

Free course
24 hrs
Working in the voluntary sector Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Steve Debenport/ free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Money & Business 

Working in the voluntary sector

This free online course, Working in the voluntary sector, will introduce you to some of the main activities carried out by volunteers and staff, will give you some background on how different organisations work and will provide you with knowledge and skills you can apply to your own work or volunteering, as well as to your every day life.

Free course
24 hrs
Basic science: understanding experiments free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Basic science: understanding experiments

This free course, Basic science: understanding experiments, introduces you to science-based skills through simple and exciting physics, chemistry and biology experiments.

Free course
12 hrs