Science and the Internet are two individual entities that, when combined, become the 21st century’s most powerful educational tool. If you suddenly feel the urge to know why there’s a supermassive black hole at the center of every galaxy, or if you’re just wondering why you can’t tickle yourself, you can find out in under a minute using just your smartphone.
If you’re looking for more than just a brief overview, why not take a look at these online courses by edX? These entirely free lecture series give you a rigorous, entertaining, university-level understanding of a whole bunch of cool scientific subjects. So if you’ve got a thirst for science, one of these courses will certainly quench it.
Explore the human body via six healthcare professional perspectives. Kjpargeter/Shutterstock
Ever wondered what happens to the human body during a stroke? As the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, more than 125,000 people die each year from the condition. To learn more about the human body, “dissect” the anatomy of a stroke through role play videos and lectures given by visiting professors.
We all know the astronauts who have walked on the moon, but what about the fathers of modern rocketry? How did a budding rocket genius attract the attention of the German military? If you’ve wanted to know all the ins and outs of rocket science, then sign up for this course.
A composite image of the center of the Milky Way. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/CXC/STScl
Every time there’s a huge discovery in astrophysics and astronomy, our place in the universe is put into perspective. Still, there’s much we don’t know, and the universe is notoriously uncooperative when it comes to revealing its deepest, darkest secrets. What initiated the Big Bang? Can a universe really appear from nothing? Where are the first stars? Is there life out there? Get a grasp on the unknown with this course.
AlphaGo is now the reigning Go champion. Getty Images
Learning a second language has extremely positive effects on your brain, while at the very least allowing you to ask for alcohol in far-flung lands. Computing already has plenty of languages, and with the global proliferation in Internet-connected technology, it won’t be long before computer languages will be seen as just as important as speaking Spanish or Mandarin. Sign up and get ahead of the game.
If all else fails, find a cute puppy or kitten. fivepointsix/Shutterstock
Everyone endeavors to be happy, but it’s actually fairly difficult to define what happiness is. With the help of psychologists, delve into the course to find out why our social connections and contributions to something grander than just ourselves are the keys to a long-lasting grin.
Welcome to hell in deep space. sdecoret/Shutterstock
The cosmos is a peculiar place, and hiding out there are distant worlds with utterly bonkers behaviors. Superheated gas giants skim past stars as if they were comets; entire magma ocean worlds are slowly being obliterated by powerful stars; some are made entirely of diamonds. Explore the frontiers of space with this course.
Bye bye, Antarctic ice – hello, sea level rise. Armin Rose/Shutterstock
Climate change is the greatest problem facing humanity today – if we leave it to continue unabated, it will make everything that’s bad worse. Despite the fact that it’s near-universally accepted by the scientific community, campaigns of misinformation will try to convince you that it’s all one big conspiracy. Arm yourself with all you need to know by taking this course.
I don't get it. www.BillionPhotos.com/Shutterstock
If you have ever needed a refresher on college level Algebra, this is your chance. In this self-paced course, you’ll learn all about linear and quadratic functions, general polynomial functions, rational functions, and more. Get that math brain at the ready and apply your algebraic reasoning skills here.
What is required for life to begin? Gio.tto/Shutterstock
“How does chemistry turn into biology?” is one of the greatest unsolved questions of science. Answering it will reveal the origins of life on Earth, and perhaps elsewhere in the Solar System and beyond. This course will help you understand how far along scientists have come on this monumental quest.
What’s the social life of chimpanzees like? Jeannette Katzir Photog/Shutterstock
Humans are animals, and so understanding the animal kingdom is really a way of understanding our place in it. Can animals learn, communicate, empathize or even plot mischief? What drives animal warfare and cooperation? Is it just primates that have social structures, or do birds, sea creatures, and insects also have them? Find out right here.