Science & Tech

Explore Everything All at Once

Bill Nye

Lesson time 14:48 min

Bill details the importance of seemingly trivial information and how small things can lead to big ideas. He explains how a bee sting changed his life, the idea of learning objectives, and how discrepant events are opportunities for exploration.

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Topics include: Don’t Think of Trivia as Trivial · Case Study: A Bee Sting Changed My Life · Spark Curiosity at a Young Age · Embrace Discrepant Events


BILL NYE: All right, here we go, the whole story. No snoring because it'll affect the audio. You can snore, just do it quietly, just, zzz, just real subtle. [MUSIC PLAYING] For those of you still awake, buckle up, people. We're going on some deep dives into scientific minutia. I'm going to take you on some tangents. We're going to digress and talk about trivia. What may seem like random science facts have a grander purpose. And I believe small things can lead to big ideas let me explain. So people talk about trivia and dismiss it-- well, that's trivial. But I claim the more trivia you know, the more you know, whatever it might be-- state capitals, the order of elements on the periodic table-- you can remember them because you have hung them on a scaffold in your mind. You've hung them on a framework. In other words, you have a way of thinking that enables you to order or organize those things. And so when I think about the problems facing us today, especially climate change, there's a tendency to pick one thing or another. If we just did this one thing, if everybody stopped eating meat, if everybody stopped driving to work, if everybody stopped flying, then we would solve this problem. But I claim that's not going to do it. We have to do everything all at once. And for that we're going to have to use our frameworks, our scaffold of remembering things, of learning things. And the things we have learned, all the trivia, it has to be integrated. We have to think from the bottom-up and the top-down. The trivial facts will inform the big ideas. The big ideas will help us sort out which facts to keep track of. And it's that balance that this next section is about, everything all at once. [MUSIC PLAYING] And the gas is filling up the balloon. - Have you always loved stuff like this? - Always. Isn't it fun? - Yeah, even when you were a little boy-- - Oh, yeah, I don't remember when I didn't love it So people say to me, Bill Nye the Science Guy, how did you get interested in science? Well, like so many people, I was greatly influenced by my parents. My parents were both science-minded people. My mother was recruited by the Navy to work on the Enigma Code, this infamous German military code, because she was good at math and science. And I will say, objectively, my mother was very good at puzzles. And when you grow up with all the science going on, you think it's the way to go. I thought it was really cool. But here's what happened, everybody. We were playing cards on the front porch. At this point in our story I am perhaps four-years-old. And I got stung by a bee. And this was traumatic. It was my first bee sting. I didn't know what happened. It came out of nowhere. And I was crying. I was young. I was crying. My mother put ammonia on the bee sting. And ammonia, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is what you smell when you smell window cleaner. Ammonia is really good...

About the Instructor

With his 19-time Emmy Award–winning show, Bill Nye the Science Guy introduced the joy of scientific discovery to a worldwide audience. Now, for the first time, the beloved educator is teaching his framework for scientific thinking and everyday problem-solving. Learn Bill’s approach to navigating information through “critical filtering” and embrace a science-based, optimistic response to some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Bill Nye

Emmy Award–winning science educator Bill Nye teaches you his method for solving everyday problems, evaluating information, and thinking like a scientist.

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