Duration 4 weeks
Weekly study 3 hours
Why join the course?
This practical, hands-on course will help you to start thinking like a scientist, by using numbers to describe and understand the natural world.
It might be the size of the Greenland ice sheet, the number of molecules in a raindrop, or the latest set of mind-boggling numbers about climate change presented in the media.
No longer will you be put off by averages or percentages, and you’ll even learn to love negative numbers. You will understand and manage numbers like a scientist. The course will introduce all the main skills you’ll need to understand and communicate scientific numbers, relate them to the real world, and share your discoveries with other learners.
You may also be interested in joining Basic Science: Understanding Experiments.
All Open University science courses presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.
What topics will you cover?
The course is divided into 4 weeks:
- Why science needs numbers including writing and presenting very large and very small numbers for science
- Using numbers for science including calculating areas, volumes and density
- Important concepts in numbers for science including rounding, fractions, percentages and negative numbers
- Communicating numbers for science including averages, drawing and interpreting graphs, correlation, causation and coincidence
Who is the course for?
This course is intended for anyone with an interest in numbers and making scientific observations. It does not require mathematical skills or any previous experience of studying the subject.
There are no special requirements for this course but you may like to find a simple calculator in a drawer or on your mobile phone to help you with some of the maths calculations.
Who will you learn with?
Who developed the course?
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.
- LocationMilton Keynes, UK
- World rankingTop 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020
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