Chemical Structure and Properties

CHEM 160
Taught in
Spring 2024
Course Level
Lifelong Support

Course Description

This course is the first in a sequence of multiple chemistry courses designed to create foundational knowledge and proficiency in essential chemistry concepts and skills. It includes the following topics: atomic structure, periodic properties, characteristics of bonding and properties of molecules, solid states, interactions and connections of light and matter, quantum and molecular mechanics models of atoms and molecules. Historical and current developments in chemistry as well as real-world problems that chemists address are incorporated into the course.

Alongside specific content, these themes will cycle through each of the foundational courses. They include:

  • Structure-Activity Relationships
  • The culture and practice of science.
  • Energy.
  • Polymers, proteins, and macromolecules.
  • Sustainability.
  • Chemical synthesis, purification, characterization, and analysis.

Learning Outcomes

The emphasis of this course is on understanding, prediction, investigation, explanation and evaluation over memorization. This means that students must foster their problem solving skills, ability to make claims based on evidence, use and understanding of models and their limitations, and skills of effective communication of scientific results. It is not enough to know what happens in chemistry, the student must also be able to explain why it happens. When successful, a student will be able to:

  • Differentiate types of matter based on their chemical and physical properties (for example, pure substances vs. mixtures, metals vs. nonmetals, ionic vs. covalent vs. metallic, electrolyte vs. nonelectrolyte).
  • Use multiple perspectives of matter (macroscopic, particle, symbolic levels) to qualitatively describe and explain characteristics, properties, and relationships of the following: atomic structure, periodicity, molecular structure, chemical bonding, gases, liquids and solids, solutions.
  • Draw and interpret multiple representations of structures depicting connectivity, configuration, and conformations.
  • Quantify relationships between variables controlling chemical systems.
  • Differentiate among closely related factors, categorize problem types, and select appropriate tools to solve these problems.

Required Course Materials

  • Textbook: OpenStax Chemistry, Atoms First 2e. Web-only, digital, or printed version.
  • Additional OpenStax sources may be used to supplement the primary textbook.
  • Online homework: ALEKS, see Sakai for additional information and recommendations
  • Molecular Model Kit (Duluth Labs MM-005 or equivalent)
  • Scientific Calculator (non-programmable, non-graphing, and independent of another device such as a phone or tablet)
  • Loyola Sakai course management site: and tools integrated into the site.
  • Loyola email: messages are sent to the entire class via Sakai, linked to your Loyola email account
  • Additional web-based systems will be used for uploading your work and facilitating feedback and evaluation. Registration will be free but required. These may include Gradescope and other sites.
  • Additional software may be used. These may include applications that convert photos to PDFs, and collaboration materials for group work.