Interactive Course

Scientific Thinking

Open your eyes to the world around you by solving puzzles with science.

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Overview

Puzzles are a challenge for your brain, and there's no greater puzzle than the inner workings of the world around you. In this course we will dispense with number-crunching and mathematics in search of something more useful: physical insight.

There are no prerequisites for this course — in it you'll explore the laws of physics and principles of engineering and learn the rules as you play. There will be plenty of surprises along the way, but by the end you'll have gained the understanding and insight to look at the world in a different way.

Topics covered

  • Balances
  • Buoyancy
  • Electric Circuits
  • Forces
  • Gears
  • Heat Flow
  • Kaleidoscopes
  • Pulleys
  • Quantum Superposition
  • Scientific Thinking

Interactive quizzes

19

Concepts and exercises

220+

Course map

Prerequisites and Next Steps

  1. 1

    Introduction

    Learn as you play with these scientific puzzles.

    1. Nature is a Puzzle

      What does the world look like to a scientist?

      1
    2. Science Rules

      Nature follows certain rules, learn how to use them.

      2
    3. Da Vinci's Folly

      Get to know some physics by building simple machines.

      3
    4. House of Mirrors

      Learn how light moves by solving these mirror puzzles.

      4
  2. 2

    Structure

    Break down these structures to learn how to build them.

    1. Structures

      Build a bridge between physics and engineering with rods and joints.

      5
    2. Gears

      All aboard the gear train.

      6
    3. Balance

      Are you feeling dizzy? Force balance into your life with these great puzzles.

      7
    4. Pulleys

      Can you use pulleys to lift an elephant with your hand?

      8
    5. Snooker

      This game follows the same rules as a particle accelerator.

      9
  3. 3

    Flow

    Explore what happens when matter and energy are on the move.

    1. Heat in Matter

      Heat causes matter to expand, but not in the way you might think.

      10
    2. Heat Flow

      Heat is always flowing, and you'll need to follow it to solve these puzzles.

      11
    3. Pressure

      The water pressure that empties your water cooler can lift a car and explode a barrel.

      12
    4. Flow in Pipes

      Pipes are in your walls and under your skin.

      13
    5. Buoyancy

      Would you take a ride on a concrete canoe?

      14
  4. 4

    Light

    Illuminate your path to the quantum realm.

    1. Pinhole Camera

      Explore the puzzling nature of light by building a camera.

      15
    2. Reflection

      Are you trapped in a hall of mirrors? Optics can see you out.

      16
    3. Charge

      Don't get zapped by these charge puzzles.

      17
    4. Circuits

      Flip switches and screw in light bulbs to learn the rules of electricity.

      18
    5. Quantum Light

      The world looks darker when you look through sunglasses. Usually.

      19
  5. 5

    Coming soon

    Time