Free M.I.T. Course Teaches You How to Become Bill Nye & Make Great Science Videos for YouTube

If I had my way, more aca­d­e­mics would care about teach­ing beyond the walls of the acad­e­my. They’d teach to a broad­er pub­lic and con­sid­er ways to make their mate­r­i­al more engag­ing, if not inspir­ing, to new audi­ences. You can find exam­ples out there of teach­ers who are doing it right. The heirs of Carl Sagan–Bri­an Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye–know how to light a spark and make their mate­r­i­al come alive on TV and YouTube. How they do this is not exact­ly a mys­tery, not after M.I.T. post­ed online a course called “Becom­ing the Next Bill Nye: Writ­ing and Host­ing the Edu­ca­tion­al Show.

Taught at M.I.T. over a month-long peri­od, Becom­ing the Next Bill Nye was designed to teach stu­dents video pro­duc­tion tech­niques that would help them “to engag­ing­ly con­vey [their] pas­sions for sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing, and/or math.” By the end of the course, they’d know how to script and host a 5‑minute YouTube show.

You can now find the syl­labus and all mate­ri­als for that course online at MIT’s Open­Course­Ware site. This includes all video lec­tures and class assign­ments. Or, if you pre­fer, you can get the video lec­tures straight from this YouTube playlist.

Becom­ing the Next Bill Nye will be added to our meta col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Carl Sagan Presents Six Lec­tures on Earth, Mars & Our Solar Sys­tem … For Kids (1977)

Watch the High­ly-Antic­i­pat­ed Evolution/Creationism Debate: Bill Nye the Sci­ence Guy v. Cre­ation­ist Ken Ham

Neil deGrasse Tyson Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intel­li­gent Per­son Should Read

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Comments (8)
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  • NikFromNYC says:

    This gen­er­a­tion is do dumb­ed down they can’t even think for them­selves con­fi­dent­ly enough to sim­ply acknowl­edge the Enron lev­el out­right scam that is cli­mate “sci­ence.” They just block you on Twit­ter if you call them to task about it, scoff­ing about Fox News and spout­ing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry about oil mon­ey. Well, Open­Cul­ture, if the sci­en­tif­ic method is aban­doned in your soci­ety, and you too fail to call it out, then you are anti-cul­ture are you not?

    The lat­est hock­ey stick media sen­sa­tion of 2013 for instance, here, car­ry on and just ignore it, ignore that this often referred to paper has no blade what­so­ev­er in the actu­al input data:

    Bill Nye is pro­mot­ing author­i­ty over empiri­cism, to the ruin of many chil­dren’s abil­i­ty to think clear­ly. That’s dis­gust­ing, but then again, Open­Cul­ture also fails to ridicule instead of cel­e­brate a lit­er­al toi­let being held up as the pin­na­cle of West­ern art. First the aca­d­e­mics destroyed aes­thet­ics, now they come for sci­ence. Watch­ing this scam top­ple and take you boil­er­plate gree­nie preen­ing fos­sil Hip­pies down with it, watch­ing indoc­tri­nat­ed kids grow up to hate you, your own chil­dren and stu­dents, will be glo­ri­ous.

    Here’s more gold stan­dard peer reviewed facts for you Bill Nye wor­ship­pers to ignore, how both real ther­mome­ter records back 350 years and actu­al tide gauge records back 150 years prove recent trends are com­plete­ly nat­ur­al:

    Those are all ref­er­enced. Bill Nye is teach­ing chil­dren that it’s “cher­ry pick­ing” to focus on such core data that blunt­ly fal­si­fies the high­ly water vapor ampli­fied green­house effect that dom­i­nates the cli­mate mod­els that firm the entire basis of cli­mate hys­te­ria. No, wrong, that’s not cher­ry pick­ing at all, and to say so is so utter­ly Orwellian that it echoes out­right Stal­in­ism if not cult brain­wash­ing. After all, it does have the mak­ings of a dooms­day cult, with orig­i­nal car­bon foot­print sin and cries of denial when con­front­ed with facts.

    -=NikFrom­NYC=-, PhD in chem­istry (Columbia/Harvard)

  • Chris says:

    Hey Nik,

    I’m an ana­lyt­i­cal chemist at Geor­gia Tech who has also spent a good bit of time study­ing ecol­o­gy.

    Your last data set does­n’t go past 2000. The one that goes the fur­thest is still miss­ing the last four years. Are you sure you’re using the best data? The Simp­sons graph­ics don’t add to the cred­i­bil­i­ty of your graph­ics.
    Your third data set fea­tures charts that all start well after the indus­tri­al rev­o­lu­tion, and also shows upward trends.

    What do you think about ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion? What do you think about the more extreme weath­er pat­terns we’ve been observ­ing? What do you think of the present rate of defor­esta­tion?

    It’s always good to be crit­i­cal, but you seem to be the one shout­ing about dog­ma. It’d be great if we found that our envi­ron­ment was resilient to our species’ newest habits, but the con­sen­sus for the last 50 years has been oth­er­wise. The data’s only been mount­ing in that time.

    The earth is essen­tial­ly a closed sys­tem. For the last 275 years we’ve been tak­ing things out of the ground and putting them into the air. How could that not affect the phys­i­cal prop­er­ties of our atmos­phere and habi­tat? And if it did affect it, what effects would you expect to see?

    Also- con­sid­er the irony of claim­ing an entire sci­en­tif­ic enter­prise isn’t cred­i­ble while call­ing those crit­i­cal of the influ­ence of prof­it-dri­ven petro­le­um com­pa­nies “con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists.”

  • Tina Ngoc Tan says:

    Iam a new­com­er in the USA. I would like to study online to improve my com­mu­ni­ca­tion in Eng­lish
    Many thanks!

  • Tina Ngoc Tan says:


    Iam a new­com­er in the USA. I would like to study online to improve my com­mu­ni­ca­tion in Eng­lish
    Many thanks!

  • Olugbenga Adebiyi says:

    I would like to take this free course online.

  • Beth Gable says:

    I would like to take the free course online. I work for the Girl Scouts of North Cen­tral Alaba­ma. I think the course would help teach­ing girls and vol­un­teers. Look­ing for­ward to hear­ing from you.


  • Metuh Maryann Chidiogo says:

    Good day,

    I am a grad­u­ate of lin­guis­tics and am look­ing for­ward to pur­su­ing a writ­ing career and I know this a great plat­form to devel­op my writ­ing skills.
    Best regards.

  • Ateeq Ur Rehman says:

    I am a grad­u­ate of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence and want to do mas­ter in polit­i­cal sci­ence. Can you me in this.

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