Basic Chemistry I

CHEM 121
Taught in
Spring 2019
Course Level
Lifelong Support

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles of chemistry. The course moves at a moderate pace, and emphasizes those topics which are essential as preparation for further work in chemistry and for medical school. Topics we will explore include properties of matter, atomic theory, nomenclature, periodic table, bonding theory and molecular structure, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, thermochemistry, gas laws, and solution chemistry. Students will develop an understanding of these fundamentals and competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course will contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic.

To develop the requisite intellectual and laboratory skills, classes will include a variety of instructional methods. Approximately 4 hours a week are spent in lectures which will include visual materials (short movies, animations, and PowerPoint presentations), traditional lectures, class discussions, individual work and group work. Approximately 3 hours a week are spent in the laboratory which will include demonstrations of lab skills, traditional lectures, individual work and group work. The laboratory work emphasizes physical- chemical measurements, quantitative analysis, and synthesis (yes! we will be making purple smokes and sparks). You will be asked to be an active learner and critical thinker in order to succeed in this class. Students will speak about, write about, and connect the three “languages” of chemistry:

  • nanoscopic (atomic/molecular),
  • macroscopic/sensory, and
  • mathematical.

Students will expand upon their problem- solving skills. Students will visualize the world as a chemist.

  • What are the atoms doing?