In this course you will learn about some of the basic, important topics in chemistry. This should prepare you to approach a school-year chemistry course with some real confidence in conceptual knowledge, mathematical skills, and laboratory technique. I intend to cover the Ideal Gas Laws, the Periodic Table, Scientific Notation and the mole.
As with all the Upward Bound courses, you are not given a final grade. Instead, I will write a narrative evaluation which assesses:
This course emphasizes problem solving skills. Most people learn concepts better when they can apply them immediately. Problems are a way for you to apply new knowledge in a way that helps you to remember it. Having good problem solving skills is also of general value since problems of all kinds constantly crop up in everyone’s lives. We will be solving problems mostly in small groups but you will also be required to solve problems on your own (especially in tests). I have designed a method for working in groups and a separate set of documents describes this in detail.
Working in small groups to solve problems is a great
way to learn chemistry. We will work in small groups
throughout this course both in and hopefully outside of
class. Here are a few documents to give group work some
shape and definition so that it can be a self-regulating
Definitions | Process | Observer Form | Recorder Form
Keeping an accurate and complete lab notebook is essential to being a good scientist. It is also essential to earning a good notebook grade in this course. In a separate document I have outlined what you need to know about keeping a good lab notebook.
Many people do not realize that knowledge does not really fall into neat little compartments like ‘science’, ‘english’, ‘social studies’, ‘math’, etc. In our heads all of it is jumbled together in a meaningful and important way. In order to help you to draw connections between the compartments of knowledge we are all familiar with I require you to do some scientific writing. You will need to be able to put scientific concepts in your own words and to tell me about your observations and what they mean in a scientific context. Good writing is essential in science since science can give precise information that should not be written about sloppily or ambiguously. Throughout the course we will spend class time on writing lab reports.