About the Course: CHEMISTRY


Laboratory and classroom work in Chemistry emphasizes analytic techniques, solution chemistry, and problem solving. Independent thinking is encouraged, and the memorization of factual material is kept to a minimum. Since much of the classroom work is based on student experimentation and observation, laboratory work is an important part of the course. Evaluation is based on laboratory work, quizzes, tests, and final exams. Algebra is used extensively throughout the course, and a scientific calculator is required. This course is open to students who have strong foundational skills in algebra and have successfully completed an introductory course in biology.

Going Beyond Chemistry ...

All students must take this course for graduation. Some hate science. Some love science. Some would take this class if not required, others would not dream of taking it. The goals of this class are:

  1. to provide you with useful chemical knowledge that everyone could use in your life and
  2. some skills (that hopefully) you will use in other contexts.

These are some skills that go beyond chemistry which we think are important if you identify as human:

  • SENSE-MAKING. ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
  • SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE. ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.
  • NOVEL & ADAPTIVE THINKING. proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based.
  • CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCY. ability to operate in different cultural settings
  • COMPUTATIONAL THINKING. ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning.

Unit Content

Curriculum is organized into units. The length spent on each unit will vary. You can select a unit in the drop down menu at the top of the page under "Chemistry."


The exploration of chemistry is best done through discovery. Efforts are made to have students explore and see how the macroscopic physical phenomena result from the interaction and behavior of atoms and molecules on an atomic level. Students are expected to engage in the various laboratory experiences.

Laboratory Safety

Laboratory safety is of utmost importance – any student not following lab safety rules is placing himself and others in danger. Breaking safety rules will most likely result in behavior and academic consequences (including being asked to leave the lab area and therefore receiving a zero on the assignment - being able not to complete the work). All students must sign a lab safety contract before entering the laboratory.

Class Plans

Students have access to a working document of a calendar layout of the course. Each trimester has its own tab. This is a working document, meaning that it frequently changes. Finalized assignment dates and due dates are ALWAYS posted on myUS as the official location. This document can:

  • Give an idea of what is to come in order to best manage time.
  • Include more general, spread out homework/practice recommendations.

Class plans can be accessed from any unit page under "Reference Handouts" or below.

Important Course Documents


Chemistry 2e, by OpenStax

eBook (free)

Other required course material includes the following:

- Scientific/ graphing calculator

- Lab Notebook

The goals for this course can be summarized by Hubert Alyea (1903-1996), late professor of Chemistry at Princeton University:
15% Arouse 15% Observe 15% Understanding + 45% Think 100%