The Boozy Educational Series
August 25, 2016 3:47 PM   Subscribe

I want to learn, from the beginning, with no pressure and a drink in hand. Help me come up with a boozy math/science online course curriculum.

I didn't do particularly well in math and science throughout grade school, high school, and college. I got through the courses somehow but never had a passion for them, and I was always convinced they were beyond my capacity. It was a combination of passion-ruining parental pressure and teachers who never gave me a reason to care, I guess. It was only after schooling that I realized this stuff was super interesting and worth knowing.

So, I want to give myself another shot at this education, from basically the beginning, going on (hopefully) through relatively advanced college material. I want it to be super low-key and low pressure, even if the material gets difficult - I should be able to have a drink or two and just follow along for the sake of learning, as if I were watching Netflix or something. Maybe I won't pick up on everything, but I should be able to work through a problem per session and basically understand how it works. It's okay if I have to occasionally rewatch material I didn't get the first time.

Can you help me brainstorm a list of online courses that would be well-suited to this sort of "booze and learning" series? I want to start with really basic fundamentals, so for math, maybe we begin with arithmetic, then algebra, and then keep going, up to, say, differential equations and proof-based courses. Any free service will do - Coursera, Khan Academy, Youtube, not sure what's out there. If possible, the instructor should emphasize fascinating problems and keep giving me reasons to stay engaged. I know that can be a high bar when some of the material is going to be dry, though, so consider it optional.
posted by naju to Education (8 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I really like khan academy for math.
posted by zutalors! at 6:23 PM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You want Crash Course for Science.
posted by guster4lovers at 8:27 PM on August 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: You want Crash Course for Science.

I started watching the Biology courses, and OMG this is so good. And entertaining!
posted by naju at 9:18 PM on August 25, 2016

Best answer: If you like Hank Green's style, you may also enjoy SciShow, Veritasium, V Sauce, and Vi Hart. (lots of V's!)

They are great for one-off videos/topics, but are less organised than Crash Course is. I have used all of these channels in my classroom, and Crash Course is like crack to teenagers. They don't always keep up with him, but they think Hank/John are funny and sometimes they get to hear the word crap. That's about all you can ask as a middle schooler.
posted by guster4lovers at 10:13 PM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not exactly syllabus-driven, but I've enjoyed some of these (especially the physics one). Might be an nice entry point back into math/science before progressing into more formal stuff.
posted by ClaireBear at 11:04 PM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: 60 Youtube Channels That Will Make You Smarter- exactly what it says on the tin, article with 60 educational channels grouped by category. Not all are science/math but a fair few are (and, again, it's categorized). Culled from a longer list of 134 channels.

Two channels that haven't been highlighted yet (though they're in these articles and the one ClaireBear posted): MinutePhysics, which in my experience includes a lot more actual science and a lot less "blowing things up" than most science popularizer channels; and Kurzgesagt, which does long (for youtube) animated videos on a wide range of topics but is mostly focused on science.

And for a bit of comic relief/adorableness: Oliver's Science Lab, in which a 5 year old teaches you about tornadoes (and a few other topics)!
posted by perplexion at 6:11 AM on August 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: MIT's opencourseware ( has video lectures available for some classes.
posted by azalea_chant at 10:46 AM on August 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Khan Academy. Do not discount it, thinking it is for kids, or too gimmicky. I wasn't a fan of the format of video lectures, and still prefer books, but the exercises there are great. It's really helpful to get immediate feedback (and hints if you need them). Many topics require you to get 3 or 5 good answers in a row, so it forces you to actually understand the material, instead of thinking "yeah, yeah, I got this".
posted by blub at 7:13 AM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

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