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Bill Nye MasterClass Review: Science and Problem Solving

Do you want to revive your childhood memories and dive into scientific questions with Bill Nye, the Science Guy? Check out our honest review of the course to find out what to expect.

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Bill Nye teaches Science and Problem Solving: Our Verdict (2024)


4.4 / 5

In his MasterClass, Bill Nye introduces science as a way of understanding the world. He talks about his mental tools for approaching scientific questions and shows how science applies to everyday life and helps us tackle problems like climate change. It’s a fun and fast-paced course packed with examples, experiments, and stories, made to spark your curiosity and improve your problem-solving skills.


  • Fun and exciting
  • Important topics
  • Useful tips and tools
  • Suitable for a wide range of learners


  • A bit too simplistic

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Everyone you’ll ever meet knows something you don’t.

I’ll be honest with you – I was a bit skeptical about learning from Bill Nye.

It’s not that I think he is not capable of teaching a science MasterClass, quite the contrary, but I wasn’t sure if he would be able to escape his ‘Science Guy’ persona.

Nevertheless, I was curious to see what his MasterClass is all about. I’ve always been drawn to science, especially biology and astronomy, and since I ended up being a writer, taking this class seemed like a good way to revive my inner scientist. 

So, did I enjoy Nye’s class, or is it really geared toward a younger audience?

What does the course exactly include, and who would I recommend it to?

I’ll tell you everything about my conclusions and learning experience in the upcoming paragraphs.

Table of Contents

What is the Bill Nye MasterClass?

Bill Nye Teaches Science and Problem-Solving” is an online course offered by MasterClass, a reputable online learning platform known for its exceptional team of instructors.

Bill Nye is an American mechanical engineer and one of the most popular science educators. His television show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, helped kids and teens around the world to fall in love with science.

In his MasterClass, Nye shows his recognizable approach to science – fun and quirky – but he also covers a lot of ground and tackles some big, complex issues like climate change. To prove his points, he uses personal stories, explanations, experiments, and case studies.

It’s a great course for young scientists and Bill Nye’s fans as well as anyone looking for an introduction to the scientific method.

The course contains 13 video lessons with a duration of 2 hours and 44 minutes.

Bill Nye
Bill Nye

Who is Bill Nye?

A native of Washington, D.C, Bill Nye earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, where he studied under legendary American astronomer Carl Sagan.

In 1993, he invented a hydraulic pressure resonance successor tube that’s used in Boeing 747 airplanes to this day.

By that time, he had already launched Bill Nye the Science Guy, a television series that made Nye a household name in television-based science programs for decades to come. In addition, he has written eight children’s books and three books geared toward adults.

Nye also regularly speaks on climate change and is fiercely committed to refining the solar power capabilities of his home in Los Angeles, California.

Who is Bill Nye’s MasterClass for?

Bill Nye is widely known as the Science Guy – a guy who makes science fun and alive.

With his MasterClass, Bill takes his lessons one step further and addresses more complex issues like climate change. However, his comedic elements are still there. Plus, he explained concepts and terms in a simple, imaginative way.

In his own words, science is for everyone. With that in mind, Bill wanted to teach a class that is, well, for everyone.

While this might leave more ambitious and experienced learners disappointed, the fact that this MasterClass has a wide target audience is good news for those hoping for an easy-going science class that will revive their scientific curiosity.

This is also a great source of inspiration for parents who want to help their kids build a good relationship with science.

In other words, Bill’s class offers a nice introduction to the world of science while keeping both youngsters and adult learners in mind.

To sum things up, Bill’s MasterClass is best suited for:

  • Bill Nye fans
  • Young learners interested in science
  • Parents who want to help their kids understand science
  • Anyone interested in climate change and scientific developments

What does Bill Nye’s MasterClass cover?

Although it’s entertaining and easy to follow, Bill’s class actually covers a lot of ground.

To make things clearer, here is a quick overview of all the lessons:

  • Lesson 1 is an introductory lesson where Bill introduces himself and the course.
  • Lessons 2-3 offer an introduction to the scientific method. Bill teaches how to shift perspective, stay curious, and embrace discrepant events.
  • Lesson 4 is focused on the importance of critical thinking and critical filtering.
  • Lessons 5-6 delve deeper into scientific thinking and provide tips on how to face fear and be open to changing your mind.
  • Lesson 7 is focused on climate change and ways you can use critical thinking to evaluate the evidence, form an opinion, and make an impact.
  • Lesson 8 covers the usage of the Upside-Down Pyramid of Design, a handy mental tool that can help you turn ideas into reality.
  • Lesson 9 teaches how to turn constraints into challenges that can help you discover creative solutions.
  • Lesson 10 breaks down Bill’s approach to potential solutions to climate change.
  • Lessons 11-12 deal with big ideas for fighting climate change and creating a science-minded society. Bill also shares some personal stories and encourages us to think cosmically and act globally.
  • Lesson 13 is a bonus lesson where Bill teaches how to tie ancient knots – creative solutions that we still use today.

My favorite parts of Bill Nye’s MasterClass

Honestly, Bill Nye allowed me to feel like a kid again – and I mean that in the best possible way.

It’s easy to forget how exciting and unpredictable learning new things can be. And, thanks to Bill’s class, I decided to expand my knowledge of certain subjects; by consuming more science-related books, podcasts, and online classes.

So even though I believe there are some things that could be improved, I’m glad I took Bill’s class.

Here are some of the parts I particularly liked.

Practice critical thinking and critical filtering

Bill Nye provoking a new perspective on the world
Bill Nye challenging the way you see the world

In this lesson, Bill addressed an important issue of the modern world: information overload. More importantly, he provides solutions to this problem and teaches how to think critically.

For instance, he suggests to ask the following questions when acquiring a certain information:

  • Is the claim specific?
  • Is it the simplest explanation? (Occam’s razor technique)
  • Are there any red flags (does the information benefit one group of people or is it something you really want to be true)?

Facing climate change

Bill Nye presenting evidence of climate change
Bill discussing the evidence of climate change

This MasterClass is called “Science and Problem Solving,” and is there a bigger issue to solve than the climate crisis?

Bill regularly speaks on climate change, both in media and in his programs, so I was expecting a detailed conversation about it.

Since I’m already quite familiar with the topic, I didn’t gain any new knowledge, but I still enjoyed getting to know Bill’s perspective and opinions. He provided some useful tips and shed light on the problem of the fossil fuel industry downplaying the danger.

Think cosmically, act globally

Bill showing the design of a MarsDial

In this interesting chapter, Bill talked about how his father’s love of sundials led to the development of MarsDial, an important achievement for missions to Mars. 

According to Bill, it’s important to learn about other planets and be empowered by that knowledge. By comparing one planet to another, we learn a great deal about our planet and our place in the cosmos.

How much does the MasterClass cost?

MasterClass is a subscription-based learning platform, so it’s not possible to purchase courses individually. If you want to take this MasterClass, you have to become a subscriber.

The standard annual plan has been renamed "Plus" and is available at $120 a year (which makes it $10 per month, billed annually), and now provides access to all MasterClass courses on two devices instead of one. The Premium plan, providing access for up to six devices costs $240 per year.

A MasterClass subscription gives you unlimited access to a catalog of 200+ classes, so if you want to take multiple classes throughout the year, the subscription is definitely worth it, and there are pleny of interesting courses on related topics to explore.

Also, the platform offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your learning experience, you can request a full refund.

Note that the "Standard" membership, priced at $72 per year, only gives you access to their short-form learning content – none of their full MasterClasses are included.

What I liked about Bill Nye’s MasterClass

It’s fair to say I enjoyed Bill’s MasterClass. I did have my doubts, by Bill turned out to be a great teacher. He also addressed the climate crisis several times, which is certainly an advantage.

Although I think there are some other MasterClasses that delve into science in a deeper, more well-rounded way, Bill’s class is still worth taking a look at.

And here are some of the reasons I believe that is so.

Fun and exciting

First of all, I think one of Bill’s unique skills is making science look cool, alive, and approachable. While some would find his teaching style childish, I think his humor and enthusiasm created a fun learning environment that can help anyone get excited about science.

So, if you need to revive your spark for science – or you have a kid who isn’t interested in these topics – Bill Nye will come to the rescue.

On the other hand, he doesn’t downplay the complexity and ‘practicality’ of science. As he said a couple of times, it’s science, not magic.

Important topics

Although his lessons were fun and easy-going, Bill managed to tackle some big issues. For instance, he talked about the cause and effect of the climate crisis and the effective ways people can use science to fight it.

He also talked about the importance of critical thinking and critical filtering, which is an essential skill regardless of what your career goals are.

Useful tips and tools

Each lesson has clear takeaways or concrete tips and Bill’s honest advice.

For instance, when talking about climate change, he suggested upgrading your home with solar panels and better windows.

And when it comes to more abstract topics, he provided mental tools you can use to approach a certain problem.

Suitable for a wide range of learners

Bill’s class has a wide target audience. It’s a fun and insightful class for scientists and non-scientists alike, although it’s probably best for those who want an introduction to scientific method and topics like climate change.

Drawbacks of Bill Nye’s MasterClass

I think Bill’s class comes with many benefits, but there are also some things that could be improved…

A bit too simplistic

As I said earlier, Bill doesn’t downplay the complexity of science. However, he did oversimplify some experiments and explanations. I understand that he wanted everybody to understand what he’s talking about, but I also think his learners might be a bit smarter than that.

One of the reasons things might feel a bit simplistic is that lessons tend to get a bit repetitive.

For instance, there was a lesson where Bill explained what Occam’s razor is – a principle that claims that if you have two ideas to explain the same phenomenon, you should opt for the simpler one. Then, a couple of chapters (or even minutes) later, he mentioned it in a different context and explained it once again. I’m pretty sure there was a third time as well…

I know that repeating definitions and showing simple examples helps you retain information in a better way, but in this case, it just seemed like he forgot he might have focused, attentive learners in front of him.

Review conclusion: Is Bill Nye’s MasterClass worth it?

All in all, I think Bill Nye’s MasterClass is worth taking – if you have the right expectations.

Bill’s way of teaching is very specific, entertaining, and quirky, which doesn’t make it less effective.

Lessons are dynamic, versatile, and easy to understand, and Bill’s examples and experiments helped me gain a new perspective on some more complex concepts and issues. On the other hand, there weren’t any advanced lessons, and some discussions could have been a bit more challenging.

Nevertheless, Bill’s energy and passion for science inspired me to expand my knowledge on certain scientific topics (which I’ve been neglecting for some time now), so as far as I’m concerned, taking this class was a success.

After all, we need science, and we need young people to be interested in science – and that’s why we also need guys like Bill Nye.