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 the Past 200 Years, LLI-608 – Hours: 12
This course looks at major scientific and technological breakthroughs of the past 200 years: the steam engine, evolutionary theory, electricity, petroleum, 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.
The History of Space Exploration, LLI-815 - 8 Hours
This class is an overview from experiments of Robert Goddard up to the current search for other earth-like planets outside of the Solar System. Explore and discuss the early experimentation with rockets up to the V-2, the space race, the space shuttle missions, the international space stations, interplanetary probes, and the search for Exo-planets. Upon completion the participant should have a better understanding of the titanic challenges of space flight. Last class session take place at National Air and Space Museum. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
The History of Human Flight, LLI-710 – Hours: 10
Explore the challenges of human flight from the tentative hops at Kitty Hawk to the black mysterious depths of space. We will try to recapture the adventure and excitement of those early days when we first ventured into the air; as we meet the men and women who pushed the boundaries of science to new frontiers, and examine the technological discoveries that made supersonic and space flight possible. We will also explore how the airplane evolved into, not only a weapon of war, but also a defender of the peace, and eventually into the vehicle that allowed humankind to reach the heavens. Finally, members of this class will be able to participate in a private, instructor-led, tour of the National Air and Space
Museum at Chantilly, Virginia. There is a $15 fee to park at the Museum. Students might arrange a car pool. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Weather Forecasting Workshop, LLI- 712 – Hours: 12
This course will very briefly describe the underlying causes of our weather (with an emphasis on the importance of upper air weather patterns) before explaining how to interpret weather maps at a more professional level than is presented by the media to the general public. Using this knowledge, we will then learn and practice a simple and quick method using only a single website and two maps that will yield a fairly accurate 24-hour forecast for any desired location in the U.S. (including Washington D.C.). After a number of practice exercises on map sets from recent years, we will conclude with some real-time forecasting for cities of your choice, and see if you can beat the instructor as well as the local weather experts. Non-scientists should have no difficulty understanding the course. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.