Chemistry 4 2022 - 2023

Website:       E-mail: akeller [at] scarboroughschools . org

Course Overview Documents

Course Learning Targets
FIO Class Motto
Late Work
How to Study for Advanced Chemistry
Exam Wrapper
Lab Safety Rules
Lab Notebook Information
Lab Report Writing Information (html)
Real Life Chemistry Assignments
Doing Science
Personal Introduction Essay (doc)


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Chemistry-4 is a rigorous theoretical course in college-level chemistry intended to prepare students for university-level courses in chemistry as required for majors in science, medicine or engineering. Process skills such as analytical thinking, problem solving, making sense out of data, and writing/communication are essential. Depth of coverage and intellectual challenge are more important than breadth of coverage. Therefore I have adopted the following goals for this course:

Instructional Techniques and Assessment

Grades in the course will be broken down as follows:
                Tests: 40% (1 per quarter)
                Quizzes: 30% (4 - 6 per quarter)
                Labs: 25% (6 - 7 2-hr labs per quarter)
                Homework: 5%

The schedule at the end of this introductory material shows what to expect for each unit. Specific dates are not given in the interest of maintaining flexibility. Also in the schedule is recommended Memory Work which are items that you should commit to memory.

The work for each unit will begin with an assignment to read the assigned sections of the textbook and to work out on paper the solutions to the Practice Exercises in the text. This is a homework assignment and will be checked for completeness. Questions will be addressed in class during lectures.

A tip about reading textbooks: they are not novels. In a novel you typically read a passage once with full comprehension. The action carries you forward through the text. Textbooks build sequentially in each chapter and you will at times need to read a section several times—and work through its examples on paper— before you can move on to the next section. Be self-aware and check in with yourself: Did I understand that passage? Could I solve problems based on it?

Class time will be used for lectures, group work, and labs. Every unit has a Problem Set. Do the assigned problems from the syllabus for each unit. Problems are found at the end of each chapter in the text. On the day the Problem Set is due it will be checked for completeness. Student questions will be handled in class by a combination of class discussion and additional practice. Solving problems is the best way to learn and understand the course material. The problems are a tool you will use to learn new material: you will not immediately know how to solve each problem no matter how well you pay attention and take notes in class.

Plan ahead and leave yourself enough time to work through things you don’t understand. Do not wait until the night before the Problem Set is due to begin work. There are three ways to approach getting your problem set done. Get it done by…

  1. working independently to solve the problems using only your brain, the text, a calculator and paper and pencil.
  2. working in study groups outside of class to help one another to solve the problems. Use this time not to copy another student’s solution but to compare notes about the best way to get to a solution.
  3. coming to your teacher during Advisory to work on problems so that you can check solutions and ask questions.

Problem sets will be given a homework grade based on completion. To show completion you must write something for every problem.

Lab Assignments are written work that may take either of two forms. A formal lab report is a multi-page report requiring specific content and layout. Another type of lab assignment will consist entirely of answering designated pre-lab and post-lab questions in a typed document. This second type of assignment will be weighted at the equivalent of one half the weight of a formal report.

Unless specifically given as group work all lab assignments must be done by each individual student. Students may not work together, may not share answers, and may not copy one another’s work.

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The date of the Homework Quiz will be set whenever we begin a new unit. The Homework Quiz will draw on problems directly from your homework and will be short.

Test dates will be near the end of each quarter. Tests will be comprehensive and will be designed to be completed in one hour.


The purpose of every academic class is to learn new concepts, master new skills, and to deepen your understanding of the world. The purpose of the class is not to get the assignments done. The assignments are tools to enable learning and practice and simply getting them done without learning anything will be counterproductive.

It is important that you evaluate yourself frequently as you work to find out what you have learned. Try repeating to yourself the contents of class discussions. Even better, go over the concepts and problem-solving techniques with your study group: communicating something you have learned forces you to organize your thoughts about it. When you do so, you learn it better yourself. This is true also about writing in the course. Your lab reports and the answers to lab questions are learning opportunities. When you explain what you have learned in writing you often find that you have not learned it as well as you thought you did. Go back and learn it properly and your writing will improve.

In this course our motto is FIO (an acronym that I leave to the reader: you will figure it out if you think about it for a bit).


One of the most important ways to improve your grade in my class is to do well on tests and quizzes. In order to encourage you to come in for help with your preparation I will offer 5% in extra credit points on a quiz if you come in at least once to study in my room during AEAST and actively ask me questions. You must do this at least one full day before the quiz date. This is a great opportunity to get together with friends to come in and ask questions and study together.


Primary textbook: Chemistry: The Central Science, 11th edition, Brown, LeMay, Bursten & Murphy, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2009.
POGIL Activities for High School Chemistry, Laura Trout, editor. Flinn Scientific, Inc. ©2012
Supplementary Materials available on instructor’s web site (

Quotes from Students

“I think this class has made me more of a self-driven learner. Before this year if I was stuck on a problem I would often wait for the teacher to explain it, but now I take the time and do the work to figure it out on my own. I think this has really improved my learning.”

“This class has changed me as a student because I have had to learn how to do more learning on my own and be efficient in my work so I have time to study.”

“This class has made me realize that some subjects are most effectively learned—or even must be learned—simply by applying new concepts through trial and error (e.g., in the problem sets). I have become a more patient learner because of this class, more willing to blunder around in the dark until things make sense, and more appreciative of the time it takes to develop true understanding.”

“Success in fields like Chemistry has less to do with how many facts you can just rote memorize and more with a willingness to study, think about, and eventually understand fundamental systems.”

“This class has changed me as a student because I had to look at things before tests to not fail them.”

“This class has changed me as a student because it has strengthened my ability to solve problems. I have developed new strategies involving looking at problems from different angles and writing down everything I know first. This has carried through to my other classes”

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First Quarter
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Matter and Measurement
Dimensional Analysis, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, Density, Temperature
Chapter 1
Problem Set: 11 15 17 21 24 26 29 31 33 37 39 40 44 47 53 59 67 72 77
Supplementary Materials:
Metrics Conversions
Dimensional Analysis
Additional Dimensional Analysis Problems
Construction of Square and Cubic Units
Conversions with Square and Cubic Units
Lab Equipment Scavenger Hunt
Lab: Observing a Candle
Sample Images for Observing a Candle
Lab: Measurement for Area and Volume
Lab: Metrics Measurements and the Thickness of Copy Paper
Graphing to Find Proportions
Density Lab
Lab: Classification of Matter
Precision vs. Accuracy
Tables 1.4, 1.5 and the Rules for Counting Significant Figures (pg 22)
Atomic Structure I:
Basics of Atomic Theory
Chapter 2: 2.1 - 2.5
Problem Set: 9 11 13 15 18 21 22 24 31 33 34 35 37 39 49 91
Supplementary Material:
Activity: Average Atomic Mass
Homework: Average Atomic Mass
POGIL: Average Atomic Mass
Atomic Structure Activity (unavailable online)
Demo: Sodium Reacts with Water
Home-Inquiry Connection Lab: Can Crush
Z, A, Atomic Symbols, Dalton’s Atomic Theory (pg 38)
Molecules, Ions and Naming Compounds Chapter 2: 2.6 - 2.9
Problem Set: 41 42 46 47 50 51 53 57 59 61 65 66 69 71 73 104
Supplementary Material:
POGIL: “Naming Ionic Compounds”
POGIL: “Polyatomic Ions”
POGIL: “ Naming Molecular Compounds”
POGIL: “Naming Acids”
Flowchart for Naming Inorganic Binary Compounds
Chemical Nomenclature
Chemical Formula Combinations Practice
Chemical Formulas Additional Naming Practice
Naming Compounds 1
Naming Compounds 2

Useful Nomenclature Resources:

Here is a big-picture flow-chart to help you determine whether a compound is ionic or molecular and how to name it no matter what it is. It is available as a PDF download at this link: Inorganic Nomenclature Flow Chart. A useful reference for ion names is the ions reference sheet I created. Also: Alternate Ions Reference Handout

Useful links from
Cations/Anions List
Nomenclature Basics
How to Name Cations
How to Name Anions
Big Picture Flowchart for Compounds

Lab: PhET Sugar and Salt Solutions
Exploring Conductivity
Lab: Conductivity
Names and formulas for all monatomic cations and anions (easily predictable from the periodic table); names and formulas for these ions: copper, iron, ammonium, carbonate, hydrogen carbonate (bicarbonate), chromate, dichromate, cyanide, phosphate, hydrogen phosphate, sulfate, hydrogen sulfate, nitrate, nitrite, permangnate, and peroxide. Also, learn the acetate ion: C2H3O2-; prefixes in table 2.6; how to name acids with and without oxygen
Stoichiometry: Atomic Mass, the Mole, Percent Composition, Chemical Equations Chapter 3: 3.1 - 3.5
Problem Set: 9 11 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 26 29 32 33 35 37 41
43 45 47 49 51 53 54 (Empirical Formulas)
Supplementary Material:
Intro to Chemical Equations
Homework for Balancing Chemical Equations
Chemical Equations from Words (not avail. on line)
POGIL: “Relative Mass and the Mole”
The Mole
Moles Practice Calculations
Homework Assignment: The Mole and Molar Mass
Demonstration: The Empirical Formula of Silver Oxide
POGIL: “Empirical Formulas”
POGIL: “Combustion Analysis”
Size of an Aluminum Atom
Instructions for the Bunsen Burner
Hydrate Lab
Avogadro’s number (6.02 × 1023 particles/mole) and its meaning

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Second Quarter
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Stoichiometry, Limiting Reagent and Percent Yield Chapter 3: 3.6 - 3.7
Problem Set: 55 57 59 63 66 67 68 70 71 73 74 77 79 80 92 103
POGIL: “Mole Ratios”
Demo: Stoichiometry
Activity: Stoichiometry Start-up
Stoichiometry Activity
Stoichiometry Homework
Activity: Limiting Reactant Demonstration
POGIL: “Limiting and Excess Reactants”
Limiting Reactant Activity
Limiting Reactant Homework
Lab: Stoichiometry Inquiry
Lab: Paint Pigments
Aqueous Reactions: Reaction Types, Solutions, Solution Stoichiometry Chapter 4
Problem Set: 11 13 15 19 21 24 27 30 32 35 39 44 45 51 55 59 61 69 73 79 81 83
Supplemental Material:
POGIL: “Types of Chemical Reactions”
POGIL: “Molarity”
Reaction writing and prediction (not available on-line)
Predicting Products of Chemical Reactions
Net Ionic Equations Practice
Solutions to Net Ionic Equations
Demonstration: Dancing Flames
Helper Handout for Lab: Classifying Chemical Reactions
Lab: Classifying Chemical Reactions
Classifying Chemical Reactions, further information
Lab: Acid-Base Titration
Home-Inquiry: Crystals
Differences btwn. strong, weak and non-electrolytes; table 4.1 (solubility rules); pg 137 oxidation states rules

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Third Quarter
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Atomic Structure II:
Nucleus, Radioactive Decay, Nuclear Stability, Nuclear Reactions
Chapter 21
Problem Set: 2 3 4 7 11 13 15 17 18 19 25 27 28 31 33 34 35 36 41 57 58
Supplementary Material:
Supplemental Notes on Logarithms and the Derivation of the Radioactive Decay Equation
Half-life Basics Activity
Half-life Activity
Mass Defect & Binding Energy Activity
Predicting Decay Modes and Decay Series
Geiger Counter Demonstration
POGIL: Types of Radiation
POGIL: Types of Radioactive Decay
POGIL: Alpha and Beta Decay
POGIL: Nuclear Equations
PhET Radioactive Dating Game

Real Life Chemistry of Marshmallows
Alpha, Beta, and Positron Decay modes; half-life equations, E = Δmc2, Δm = mf - mi
Gases: Pressure, Gas Laws, Gas Phase Rxns, Partial Pressures, Kinetic-Molecular Theory Chapter 10.1 - 10.7
Problem Set: 11 17 22 23 25 27 31 33 37 40 43 45 47 51 53 56 59 61 67 71 75 77 Supplementary Material:
Graphing to Find Proportions
POGIL: “Gas Variables”
POGIL: “Partial Pressures of Gases”
Demo: Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen Gas

note: no non-ideal gases
Lab: Boyle’s Law with Vernier Probes
Molar Volume of a Gas
Guide to the Formal Report for the Molar Volume Lab
PV = nRT; P1V1/n1T1 = P2V2/n2T2; Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures; Definition of Mole Fraction; Molar Vol. 22.41 L at STP
Fourth Quarter
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Thermochemistry: Energy, Enthalpy, Calorimetry, Hess’s Law Chapter 5
Problem Set: 5 13 19 23 25 27 29 33 37 41 49 53 54 59 61 63 65 67 69 71
Examples of Calorimetry Calculations
POGIL: “Calorimetry”
POGIL: “Heats of Formation”
Calorimetry Lab
Demo: Dehydration of Sugar
Demo: Dehydration of Sugar Student Worksheet
Demo: Boiling Acetone at Reduced Pressure Student Worksheet
ΔE = q + w, w = -PΔV, ΔH = q at constant P, Hess’s Law
Electronic Structure of Atoms: EM Radiation, Atomic Spectra, Quantum Mechanics, Orbitals
Chapter 6
Problem Set: 11 15 18 21 25 29 33 35 41 47 50 57 59 61 65 67 79 82 84
Supplementary Material for reference:
Group Activity: Light
Homework: Light
Additional Problems: Light
Activity: Graphing Wavelength, Frequency and Energy
Activity: Electron Configuration
Pre-lab: Flame Tests due on the first day of the lab
Lab: Flame Tests
Lab: Hydrogen Atom Simulator Do problems 1 - 5 for homework. The rest of the questions will be answered using an online simulator (link is on the lab page). (computer lab)
Pre-lab: Atomic Emission lamps due on the day of the lab
Lab: Atomic Emission Lamps
Lab: Spectrophotometry Basics
E = hν, c = λν, quantum numbers, electron configuration method
Chemical Bonding: Ionic, Covalent, and Metallic Bonds; Lewis Structures, Electronegativity, Bond Strength Chapter 8
Problem Set: Ch. 8: 2 4-6 8 9 13 17 19 21 23 29 32 33 35 36 40 45-47 49 50 53 55 57 58 61 65 67 69 90
POGIL: “Bond Energy”
Activity: Lewis Diagrams
Lewis Diagrams: Molecules to draw
Homework: Drawing Lewis Diagrams
Review of Molecular Compounds including Lewis Diagrams and 3-D Shapes
Lab: Glurch and Oobleck
Lab: Soap Making
Lewis Structures method, pg 314 & pg 316
Trends for atomic size, ion size, and electronegativity

Molecular Geometry: VSEPR, Polarity, Valence Bond Theory, Hybrid Orbitals Chapter 9: 9.1 - 9.6
Problem Set: 1 3 4 6 8 12 13 14 15 17 19 23 25 30 31 34 37 38 39 40 43 47 76 82
Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Molecular Geometry”
Lewis Diagrams and VSEPR Shapes
Table of VSEPR Shapes and Modifications
Building Models and VSEPR Shapes (using model kits)
Lab: Cyanotypes
Lab: Silver Mirror
VSEPR model method, pg 346
The following chapters will not be covered this year. The information below will not print out when you print the syllabus.
Solutions: Intermolecular Forces and Phase Changes Chapter 11
Problem Set: 1 2 10 12 13 16 17 25 26 30 32 33 37 40 46 47 50 52 54 56 69 74 79 81 83 102
Pre-lab for Size of a Molecule
Size of a Molecule
Solutions: Solutions, Solubility, Colligative Properties Chapter 13
Problem Set: TBD
  Π = MRT
Kinetics: Reaction Rates, Rate Laws, Integrated Rate Laws, Reaction Mechanisms
NOTE: This section will not print as we will not cover this material in class this year.
Chapter 14
Problem Set: 1-4 7 8 10 14 17 21 24 29 32 35 38 39 45 46 47 51 53 54 57 59 63 67 69 71 73 77 81
Determination of Reaction Rate/Order (Flinn 12)
Post-lab Questions
Rate Laws Summary (formulas, typical graphs)
Kinetics Information Sheet
Equilibrium: Equilibrium Constant, Gas Equilibria, Le Châtelier’s Principle
6 hours
Chapter 15
Problem Set: 1 3 5 6 8 9 11 14 16 20 21 25 27 30 33 36 38 40 43 46 49 50 51 54 55 58 61 72 82 Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Equilibrium”
POGIL: “Reaction Quotient”
Supplemental Equil. problems
Lab: Equilibrium Constant for a Metal-complex Ion
Organizational Tables for the Equilibrium Lab
Form of the Equilibrium Constant Expression
Kp = K(RT)Δn; Le Châtelier’s Principle
Copyright and Terms of Use Last Updated: May 25, 2023