Basic Science: Understanding Experiments
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:
- a cucumber
- a kiwi
- methylated spirits (or a bottle of vodka!)
- olive oil
- a potato
- washing-up liquid
- distilled water
- 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
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