Seven core beliefs define the worldview that this platform is created on:
Belief 1: Simplicity • Belief 2: Ability • Belief 3: Goal • Belief 4: Content •
Belief 5: Approach • Belief 6: Tools • Belief 7: Description
The third fundamental belief of this platform concerns the goal, fittingly described in this quote:1
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.Albert Einstein (allegedly)
‘To explain simply’ does not merely mean ‘to recite’. The aim of this platform is to place you a few steps up the taxonomy ladder:2
- Remembering what you read requires no understanding, just memory, while
- understanding it requires you to be able to rephrase and explain the content.
This is the aim of each discipline on this platform. Do you have a 15-year old son or a non-technical sister or neighbour? Then test yourself by explaining the technical topics to them, as you learn them along the way yourself. Use your imagination, create good analogies and fitting examples. If you succeed – if they understand – then you’ve reached a higher level of technical and engineering knowledge than most first-year university freshmen.
Quizzes in each discipline are designed for you to test yourself on these levels.
More motivated readers, who wish to make use of what is learned in the courses, can furthermore focus on the tools (mathematical and experimental) to train the skill of
- applying the content theoretically by solving typical engineering problems on paper, requiring deeper understanding of theory and methods, whereas
- analysing it requires a systematic way of thinking and of attacking a problem to optimise your application or solution and compare it with other scenarios.
These levels are trained in a deeper theoretical application test in each discipline, where you are given one specific real-life theoretical task to solve from start to end. And finally,
- evaluating on the content requires critical thinking of you about your own work in order to judge usefulness, and
- creating anything based on the content requires experimental skills to construct and produce a scientific setup or product, eliminate sources of error and plan and organise your product so it performs as intended.
These last steps are requirements of graduate engineers. We will touch upon and lightly train them in each discipline with a experimental home-task for you to get your hands dirty in your own kitchen, living room or garden.
How far and how trained you become on this platform, depends on your own level of ambition – on your personal or professional goal. We strive towards lifting each of our participants to the second and possibly third taxonomy step, and we encourage you to strive even higher yourself.
- ‘Which of these quotes are actually Einstein’s (if any)?’ (web page, forum post), Steeven Hegelund Spangsdorf, History Stack Exchange, 2017, history.stackexchange.com/a/35232/23411 (accessed Apr. 24th, 2019)
- ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’ (web page), Patricia Armstrong, Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching, 2010, cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy (accessed Dec. 18th, 2019)