Discovering Science: An Introduction to Science
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." - Albert Einstein
Fees from as low as £140
Terms and conditions apply
Deadline to enrol: 24 April 2023
Discovering Science: An Introduction to Science for the Unscientific
Wednesdays 18:30 - 20:30
Tutor: Dr Linda van Keimpema
Classroom course at South Kensington
Starts: 3 May 2023 - 10 weeks
For anyone interested in understanding science without being a scientist. Ideal for people wanting to help their children with science homework
You don't have to be scientific to enjoy and understand science. In fact science is everywhere: it allows you to make a lovely hot cup of tea, to see all the objects around you, and to cross over water safely by using a bridge.
Science also holds our galaxy together, it makes the laws that drive biodiversity, and describes the nature of subatomic particles - the building blocks of everything. Diving into the diversity and beauty of science is an adventure, full of revelations and surprises.
This course aims to give you just a taste for that adventure, as we travel through the entirety of scientific understanding (or at least as much as we can fit in). Starting with the cosmos, we will travel through our universe and discuss all the objects we meet on the way. Landing on Earth we will learn about the ever-changing aspects of our planet, and how Earth can support life. We will learn about the chemical building blocks of life, discover how our genetics determines who we are, see how our body works and can be improved using modern medicine, and explore how the knowledge of mathematics, artificial intelligence, and applied sciences shaped the modern world.
Each week we will explore a new topic, as well as discussing the science that is going on in the world around us and how we think that science will affect our future. If you have ever wanted to learn more about science and the way everything works, join us for what promises to be an exciting ride!
All sessions will include a slide lecture, as well as group discussions and even some short demonstrations of experiments.
This course is for beginners, so no prior knowledge of science is required. All you need is an inquisitive mind!
These classes are not recorded
Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate
Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment
Course Programme and Additional Reading
Week / Session 1: The Universe
In this session, we will learn about the universe. We will discuss the origin of the universe, and how stars, galaxies and exoplanets were born. We will take a close look at our Solar System, and discuss the amazing features of individual planets. This session will also touch upon some laws of Physics which are important on the scale of the universe. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and a small experiment.
Week / Session 2: Geology
In this session, we will learn all about the planet we live on. We will discuss the timeline of Earth and how our planet changed over the billions of years it has been around. We will discuss the structure of the Earth and how plate tectonics lead to earth quakes and volcanoes. We will take a close look at the weather on Earth in present, past, and future. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and group discussions.
Week / Session 3: Quantum Physics and Chemistry
In this lesson, we will learn about elementary particles, which ones there are and how they make up everything around us. We will discuss how atoms can form into molecules and discuss laws of physics which work on a subatomic scale. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and a small experiment.
Week / Session 4: Evolution
In this session, we will learn how life started on Earth. From there, we will follow the route of evolution and discover how it led to the enormous variety of species which have been present on the Earth. We will see how species evolved - or became extinct - and ultimately how humans have evolved. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and small group discussions on the future of humanity.
Week / Session 5: Genetics and diversity
In this lesson, we will learn everything about the genetic code of life: DNA. We will discover how DNA contains the information to make the proteins which are essential in your body. We will dive into how the DNA can be changed over generations and causes diversity of a species. Finally we will discuss revolutionary techniques to modify organisms. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and small group discussions.
Week / Session 6: Human body and medicine
In this session, we will learn how the human body develops, and the organs and structures which are present in the human body. We will discuss different diseases, how they are caused and how they can be prevented. We will learn how our own immune system can prevent us from getting sick, and how sometimes our immune system is not working optimally. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and small group discussions.
Week / Session 7: Neuroscience
In this session, we will learn how our brain influences our every move, and how our brain detects all our experiences and can store this information. We will discuss how the brain is build up and how individual brain cells work together. Finally we will discuss how the brain is involved in learning and memory. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and if conditions allow a small demonstration.
Week / Session 8: Maths and computers
In this session, we will discuss the history and important discoveries in mathematics. We will learn how computers work, and how complex systems are used to develop an artificial intelligence. We will talk about how AI helps us to live our lives, and how this will influence our future. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and small group discussion.
Week / Session 9: Applied sciences
We will take a look how the knowledge of different sciences has impacted and improved modern life. We will learn how electricity and magnetism works, and how the combination of electricity and magnetism is used in different modern techniques. We will look at different types of transport, and how transport has changed in the past, present and how it might look in our future. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, including short exercises about the content and small group discussion.
Week / Session 10: Scientific breakthroughs
In this session, we will discuss what it takes to be a scientist. We will look at some of the most impactful scientists and how their work has changed our understanding of the world around us. We will discuss together which field of science has made the most progress, and which fields are very promising to further advance human life in the future. The session will be a digital tutor-led slide lecture, and an extended discussion in small groups.
Your tutor will be Dr Linda van Keimpema who is an education teaching fellow in the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London.
She has a PhD, for which she investigated molecular neuroscience, and she has taught biology, physics, mathematics and other science-related topics at VU University in Amsterdam and at Kaplan International College in London.
Course Fees and Rate Categories
|Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|All fee rates quoted are for the whole course. Part-payments are not possible.|
Rate Categories and Discounts
- Available to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
- People enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
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It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Friends and Family Scheme
This course is eligible for the allowing Imperial College students and staff to share their discount with their friends and family.
Web enrolment opens on 1st March 2023
Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:
- Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
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When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:
|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
|If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756|
- Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the tutor, Dr Linda van Keimpema, email@example.com
- Questions about your enrolment and payment should be sent to the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi, firstname.lastname@example.org