Lifelong Learning Science Courses
Lifelong Learning courses are designed primarily for students age 50 and over. Not all listed courses are offered each semester. See schedule of Lifelong Learning classes to find current schedules, location, dates, and costs.
Major Scientific/Technological Discoveries of Past 200 Years, ILL608 – Hours: 12
This course looks at major scientific and technological breakthroughs of the past 200 years: the steam engine,
evolutionary theory and genetics, quantum physics, psychoanalysis, and the internet. We will position each development in its respective social and cultural context, before studying the profound implications and applications that followed (e.g., in transportation, medicine, warfare, business, etc). The course does not require any scientific or mathematical background, but presents each development in everyday language and focuses on their respective histories and present day applications. It is designed for anybody with an interest in the major ideas and technologies that define the modern world. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Our Changing Climate, ILL635 – Hours: 2
Climate change (politically correct), aka global warming (politically incorrect), is today a much discussed and publicized subject that has begun to interest even our least ‘scientifically-minded’ citizens. In this lecture, the three most serious present day concerns about climate will be discussed: atmospheric pollution, ozone depletion, and global heating. Although there is abundant scientific evidence surrounding each of these phenomena, the discussion should be fully understandable to the non-scientist general public, and will be presented without the obvious agendas that too often flavor politically motivated (and heated) discussions.
Understanding Weather, ILL614 – Hours: 12
Weather ranks high on the list of conversation topics, but very few people understand how and why it occurs. Dr. Paul Brown, a career neuroscientist at the NIH and former professor of meteorology at Montgomery College, will lead a wide-ranging discussion of the scientific principles that underlie nearly every aspect of weather, from clouds to climate. You will learn how heat, water, and wind interact to produce the continuously changing weather patterns we experience in Washington, D.C., and what conditions produce the major types of ‘bad weather’ (frontal storms, thunderstorms, derechos, tornadoes, and hurricanes). You will also learn how to interpret weather maps to make forecasts, and at the end of the course be able to decide for yourself whether global warming is real or imagined. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.