Basic Science: Understanding Experiments
The Open University
  • Start Date: 07 Aug, 2017
  • 4 weeks
  • Study Content: Videos


This hands-on course introduces you to science-based skills through simple and exciting physics, chemistry and biology experiments

Course Fee: Free
Certificate Cost: See Fees and Eligibility

Introduction

Introduction Video

Course Description

This course is made available through the eLearnAfrica and FutureLearn partnership.

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.


You may also be interested in joining Basic Science: Understanding Numbers.


All Open University science courses presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.


This 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 FutureLearn’s terms and conditions - if you are under 13, you must ask an adult to create an account using their own name and communicate in discussions on your behalf.


All of the experiments can be carried out with items you would find in a typical kitchen, but before you start, you should probably make sure you have the following:


Shopping list



  • a cucumber

  • a kiwi

  • methylated spirits (or a bottle of vodka!)

  • olive oil

  • a potato

  • salt

  • sugar

  • washing-up liquid

  • yeast

  • distilled water


Equipment list



  • cling film

  • oven gloves

  • a freezer

  • an ice cube tray

  • kitchen scales

  • a marker pen

  • a microwave or oven

  • a paper clip

  • a printer

  • a ruler

  • a vegetable peeler

  • drinking glasses

  • knife


This course is provided through eLearnAfrica’s partnership with FutureLearn.

Please note that, should you choose to purchase a Certificate of Achievement or a Statement of Participation, you will be re-directed to the FutureLearn for processing.

The following information is from the Future Learn website:

What is a Certificate of Achievement?

A Certificate of Achievement is a valuable certificate to prove what you’ve learned on your course.

Your Certificate will include your name; an outline of what you’ve learned and how long it took; the logos of the university and other organisations associated with your course. Your printed certificate will also include the lead educator’s signature.

In addition to the digital and printed certificate, you will receive a detailed transcript of what you’ve learned, how long it took and your average test score (if your course contained tests).

You can view our page about Certificates of Achievement to see what they look like.

How do I qualify for a Certificate of Achievement?

To be eligible to buy a Certificate of Achievement, you must:

  • complete 90% of the steps in a course (by using the “Mark as complete” button on each step),
  • attempt every test question in the course,
  • score over 70% on average across all course tests.

How do I buy a Certificate of Achievement?

If you’re taking a course, we’ll email you details of how to buy a Certificate of Achievement, once you’re eligible for one.

How much does a Certificate of Achievement cost?

The cost of the Certificate of Achievement varies depending on the course. They normally cost from £39.00 (GBP) to £59.00 (GBP) + shipping. The price shown includes a digital and printed certificate and transcript, and VAT or local sales tax. The exact price for your course will be shown within the course itself.

What if I don’t qualify to buy a Certificate of Achievement?

If you don’t qualify to buy a Certificate of Achievement because your test score does not meet the 70% pass threshold, you have a couple of options. You will still be able to purchase a Statement of Participation for the course, or you could join a later run of the course. Unfortunately it is not possible to retake tests in FutureLearn courses. 

What is a Statement of Participation?

A Statement of Participation is a collectable printed and digital record that you can buy, to show that you’ve taken part in a FutureLearn course. Statements are available for the vast majority of FutureLearn courses in both digital and printed formats. You can view our page about Statements of Participation to see what they look like.

Your Statement will include your name; a short summary of the course and how long it took; the logo of the university and other organisations associated with your course. In addition, your printed certificate will also include the lead educator’s signature.

Your Statement will confirm that you’ve completed the majority of steps in a course and attempted all test questions, but it will not show your individual level of completion or your test scores.

How do I qualify for a Statement of Participation?

To be eligible to buy a Statement of Participation, you must complete over half of the steps in a course (by using the “Mark as complete” button on each step) and attempt all test questions.

How do I buy a Statement of Participation?

If you’re taking a course, we’ll email you details of how to buy a Statement of Participation, once you’re eligible for one.

To be eligible, you must complete the majority of steps in the course and attempt all test questions. You can check how close you are to being eligible on your course progress page.

How much does a Statement of Participation cost?

The cost of a Statement of Participation varies depending on the course. They cost from at £19.00 (GBP) to £34.00 (GBP) plus shipping. The price shown includes a digital and printed version, and VAT or local sales tax. The exact price for your course will be shown within the course itself.

For more information on Fees and Eligibility, please feel free to consult the Frequently Asked Questions:

If you do not find an answer to your question, you can also contact FutureLearn directly via email, at: feedback@futurelearn.com

The information provided was current as of 22 September 2016. Please visit Certificates and Statements to check for changes.

Certificate cost may vary. You will be redirected to the host page for cost and payment options.

This course is provided through eLearnAfrica’s partnership with FutureLearn. To go directly to a specific Category of Frequently Asked Questions, please feel free to click on any of the links below (you will be redirected to the FutureLearn website):

Categories

If you do not find an answer to your question, you can also contact FutureLearn directly via email, at: feedback@futurelearn.com

The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning.

Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 220,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas. The Open University is rated one of the best in the UK for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey. The OU is one of only four UK universities to have consistently achieved more than 90% in the survey’s history. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

The UK’s latest Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF 2014) places The Open University in the top third of UK higher education institutions by ‘research power’ ranking. 72% of OU research submitted was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 26.7 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 60 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.

All Open University Science courses presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.

This institution is available on eLearnAfrica through partnership with FutureLearn.

You may be able to download course materials after enrolling in this course. If not, all of the necessary course materials provided by the course instructor will be available on the provider's course page.
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Effective Date: September 22, 2016