Basic Chemical Concepts

Taught in
Summer 2019, and Summer 2018
Course Level
Lifelong Support

Course Description

Chemistry 128 is designed as a preparatory course for the general chemistry sequence (Chemistry 130/132/134). As such, a variety of topics will be covered to varying degrees of depth. The topics covered in Chemistry 128 include: units and dimensional analysis; general scientific terminology; basics of atomic structure; chemical formulas and dimensional analysis involving chemical compounds; chemical reactions; stoichiometry; chemical bonding and molecular shapes; gas laws; properties of condensed phases; solution chemistry.

In addition to you gaining an understanding of the topics listed above, it is a major goal of this course to develop your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. You will be given the opportunity to work through problems starting from first principles and challenged to fully understand the meaning of your results.

Accomplishing the various objectives of this course will require a significant time commitment. You should spend approximately three hours outside of lecture for every hour in lecture working on the material for this course. The bulk of this time should be spent working on problems, including: completing on-line Mastering Chemistry homework assignments, reviewing problems presented in lecture, and working extra problems suggested from your textbook. Working on problems does not mean that you should read a problem and then immediately look at the solution. This approach will not help you succeed on exams. I encourage you to look at the solution to a problem only after you have spent a significant amount of time (15 – 20 minutes) attempting to complete the problem on your own.

The scientific inquiry learning domain

The learning outcomes for the SI:Lab learning domain are listed below. They may also be found online on the Liberal Studies Program web site. In the context of natural science content, and building on the understanding of the scientific worldview and the nature and process of science they have developed in the Science as a Way of Knowing (SWK) course:

Students will understand how science serves as a mechanism for inquiry into the natural world through hands-on, experience-based investigation.

  1. Students will be able to pose meaningful scientific questions and generate testable scientific hypotheses.
  2. Students will be able to plan, design and conduct scientific investigations in a collaborative environment using appropriate tools and techniques to gather relevant data in order to test and revise scientific hypotheses.
  3. Students will be able to develop and use scientific models (conceptual, physical, and mathematical) to make predictions and develop explanations of natural phenomena.
  4. Students will be able to address variability in the data and recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions.
  5. Students will be able to communicate scientific procedures, results, and explanations and engage in arguments based on scientific evidence.