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Science, Maths & Technology

Science, Maths & Technology

The rules of the universe and how we work with them.

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Can renewable energy sources power the world? free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Can renewable energy sources power the world?

We ask the question ‘Can renewable energy sources power the world?’ as a response to the growing awareness that increased use of renewable energy technologies is making a major contribution to global efforts to limit anthropogenic climate change. The course begins by examining the environmental concerns that have caused a rise in interest in renewable energy, introducing the main sources and technologies, and describing global efforts to increase the share of renewables. The course then looks at each of the principal renewable energy technologies and the contributions they might make to global energy demand. Finally, several future energy scenarios are analysed to show how combinations of renewable energy sources and technologies could provide a major share of global energy needs.

Free course
24 hrs
Creative commons image Icon NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio under Creative-Commons license
Moons article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Moons

Explore our collection of free games, articles and courses on Moons. 

Article
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University
Coming soon: Astronomy with an online telescope article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Coming soon: Astronomy with an online telescope

This brand new course will show you how to navigate the night sky, and the wide variety of objects it contains.

Article
Basic science: understanding numbers free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Basic science: understanding numbers

This free course, Basic science: understanding numbers, explains how you can use numbers to describe the natural world and make sense of everything from atoms to oceans.

Free course
12 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Peshkova/Getty Images Plus
Mastering systems thinking in practice 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
Discovering chemistry free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Discovering chemistry

Chemistry lies at the centre of our modern life, playing a part in areas as diverse as the development of new drugs and materials, analysing our environment through to more mundane activities such as washing your clothes and making your tea. But to truly understand the role chemistry plays you need to have a sound grasp of a number of fundamental principles. This free course, Discovering chemistry, introduces you to some of these concepts, beginning with the idea that everything that you can see is made of building blocks called atoms. This leads on to a look at the chemical elements and how they are arranged in the Periodic Table, enabling chemists to rationalise patterns in their chemical and physical behaviour. Next you will consider chemical reactions, specifically how atoms combine with other atoms to form molecules, and how molecules combine with other atoms or molecules to form bigger molecules. You will meet simple (tried and tested) theories to explain the bonding in molecules and at how their shapes may be explained, and indeed predicted. And in a wider sense you’ll be looking at why reactions happen at all and how fast they go. This is also a beginner’s level course in the language of the chemist; you’ll learn about symbols, formulas and how chemical equations which represent reactions are constructed. Finally you will see how chemists ----- atoms and molecules, essential for making up solutions of a known concentration in order to carry out a reaction, or performing a chemical analysis.

Free course
24 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: smartboy10/Getty Images
Understanding antibiotic resistance free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Understanding antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat, compromising our ability to treat infections and increasing the risk of routine surgery. Resistant infections are increasing due to overuse of antibiotics and this has resulted in the emergence of 'superbugs' (bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics). This free course, Understanding antibiotic resistance, provides the science background underlying antibiotic resistance. It will cover the following questions. What are antibiotics? Why do we need them? How do they work? What is antibiotic resistance? Why is it a problem? What can we do about it?

Free course
24 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © smartboy10/Getty Images
Available now: Understanding antibiotic resistance article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Available now: Understanding antibiotic resistance

This brand new free course will introduce you to the science behind the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Article
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: 7wonder

Science, Maths & Technology 

The Secret Story of Stuff:

Materials of the Modern Age

TV Programme
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC
OU on the BBC: From deep oceans to super sewers video icon

Nature & Environment 

OU on the BBC: From deep oceans to super sewers

Looking back over just some of our great collaborations with the BBC from the last few months. Together, we've explored the civilisations, the oceans - and the depths of London, metaphorical and actual.

Video
25 mins
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

Science, Maths & Technology 

BBC Inside Science 2018/2019 series

Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

Radio Programme
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
Babylonian mathematics free course icon Level 2 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Babylonian mathematics

This free course looks at Babylonian mathematics. You will learn how a series of discoveries has enabled historians to decipher stone tablets and study the various techniques the Babylonians used for problem-solving and teaching. The Babylonian problem-solving skills have been described as remarkable and scribes of the time received a training far in advance of anything available in medieval Christian Europe 3000 years later.

Free course
8 hrs
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