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Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future

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Journey through nearly 14 billion years of history in this self-guided, six-hour version of Big History. You'll find every chapter full of great activities to keep you entertained and test your learning.

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What is Big History?

Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future. It's a story about us. An idea that arose from a desire to go beyond specialized and self-contained fields of study to grasp history as a whole. This growing, multi-disciplinary approach is focused on high school students, yet designed for anyone seeking answers to the big questions about the history of our Universe.

The Big History Project is a joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge to lifelong learners around the world.

The Universe

The Universe started simply with a burst of energy. As it developed over billions of years, stars were born, new complexities emerge, setting the stage for radical change.

Our Solar System & Earth

The birth and death of stars leave an aftermath of matter, gas, and clouds of dust. Through gravity, accretion, and random collisions, new complex forms of matter grow to become galaxies, the Earth, and even living organisms.

Life

What makes life on Earth so special? How do you explain its diversity? And what exactly is it? How life emerged remains a mystery, but we've learned that life is fragile in the face of gradual and sudden change. Just ask the dinosaurs.

Humans

Powerful brains. Precise language. Humans have a knack for gathering, preserving, and sharing information. We use these skills to create entirely new forms of complexity, making us the most powerful force of change on the planet.

The Future

What does 13.8 billion years of history tell us? How does knowing so much about the past influence how we think about the future? These may be the most important questions Big History asks.

Become a Big Historian

Become a Big Historian

You'll find every chapter full of great activities to keep you entertained and test your learning. Plus, you can earn badges through fun quizzes that will challenge your thinking. Pass all eight quizzes and we'll recognize your success by sending you a Big Historian sticker. (U.S. and Australia only. Limit first 10,000. Some other limitations may apply.)

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