4 Family-Friendly MOOCS That Make Science Fun

Science has gotten a major makeover in the past few years: Steve Jobs, The Big Bang Theory, the Virtual Reality (VR) boom, and many other cultural phenomena have made science great again in the public eye. This movement could not have come at a better time, as there is currently a shortage of those with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills in the workforce, and this shortage is predicted to continue into the future.

As education institutions of all levels are pushing for more STEM learning resources, think about what you can do to support this initiative from home. So for all of you out there who would love to give the gift of learning over the holidays, here are six best MOOCs that makes learning about science fun for you, your friends, and your entire family:

Think Like A CSI (Canvas Network)

This 4-week, self-paced courses courtesy of Real Science Labs covers all the basics you want to know about forensic sciences: crime scene documentation, evidence collection, tool mark analysis and more. The best part? You get to do everything hands-on with one of the three lab kits they have to offer. Although this course targets teen learners, adult learners will also find the lectures and exercises enjoyable, especially if your favorite TV show is CSI or Criminal Minds.

The Science of Happiness (Coursera)

It’s fair to say that this is one of the most difficult MOOCs of all time, as it chooses to target the eternal quest of human beings – happiness. While we may never find a formula that guarantees universal happiness,  positive psychology can definitely change things for the better. Taught by professors from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, this course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to explaining positive psychology and offers students practical strategies to nurture their own happiness.

Dino 101 (Coursera)

Admit it—you shelled out $15 to see Jurassic Park in 3D. This University of Alberta course covers everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs, from what they eat and how they move to where they came from and why they disappeared. The course is available for credit for students at the University of Alberta.

What a Plant Knows (and other things you didn’t know about plants) (Coursera)

What do you have in common with a sunflower? This course from Tel Aviv University will answer this question and many others you never even thought to ask about plants. Warning: Exploring how plants experience the world may cause you to question your own experiences.

So what are you waiting for? Go get your geek on!

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