Big History Project

for bgC3

iF collaborated with partners to build a teacher-facilitated, interdisciplinary online course for high school students to learn the history of the universe.

The Challenge

Teach 13.8 billion years of history

Transform a complex college course into a dynamic, online experience for high school students everywhere.

The solution

Curriculum with a big bang

We partnered with David Christian and Bill Gates’ private office to conceptualize, design and pilot the new course. It included a comprehensive curriculum supported by a deep library of content, teacher training and a plan for reaching thousands of students.

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Hear firsthand from students and teachers about learning the “history of everything.”

INTRO: Eight dramatic transitions drive the story of big history.

HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE: Students learn to navigate history using a 13.8 billion year timeline.

Teacher’s unit view: Course curriculum and support resources on one page.

PUBLIC COURSE: We developed a Big History course that anyone can take online for free.

PRINTED MATERIALS: Infographics and origin stories extended the course into physical classrooms.

Impact by the numbers

Schools teaching
teachers trained
young big historians

Still Making History

We incubated and iterated on several versions of the Big History Project with our partners at bgC3 — since then, it’s taken on a life of its own. The work made the cover of the New York Times Magazine and more schools are registering to teach Big History every day.

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