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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Brandon Dearmond Finley
B CUSP 142
Bothell Campus

General Chemistry

For science and engineering majors. Atomic nature of matter, stoichiometry, periodic table, quantum concepts, and gas laws. Includes laboratory. Recommended: high school chemistry and placement into B CUSP 123 or higher.

Class description

This course will cover beginning chemistry concepts including atoms and molecules, stoichiomety, reactions in solution, the fundamental gas laws, equilibrium, and acid/base chemistry. This is a quantitative course and will provide a numerical as well as a conceptual understanding of chemistry. Proficiency in algebra is recommended. The course includes a laboratory. The laboratory is required and will focus on applying the chemistry concepts and equations discussed in class to real world reactions.

Student learning goals

Understand the fundamental laws governing all chemical reactions. These include the conservation of energy and mass, the universal gas laws, laws of chemical equilibrium, and the laws governing acid/base chemistry.

Apply the fundamental chemical laws to new situations and reach logical conclusions about the expected outcome. You should develop a logical thought process that will allow you to use what you know about chemistry to successfully solve a wide range of problems.

Develop quantitative problem solving skills and apply those skills to solve problems involving chemistry. You should be able to successfully do calculations involving molecular masses, oxidation-reduction reactions, ideal gases, acid/base chemistry, and equilibrium.

Develop basic laboratory skills and understand common laboratory practices, procedures, and safety issues. You should know how to use the safety features of the lab, how to use a lab notebook, and how to use common lab equipment such as burettes, graduated cylinders, and balances.

Understand the role chemistry plays in today's social, political, and economic situation. You should be able to identify current important topics in chemistry such as production of biofuels, changes in atmospheric composition, biochemistry, and geo-engineering. You should also be able to discuss how chemistry may be used to address these issues.

General method of instruction

Primary instruction will be in the form of class lectures. Lectures will include traditional presentations (i.e. use of white boards and computer presentations) as well as in-class activities such as group problem solving and workbook exercises. In-class demonstrations will be used as often as possible to show concepts in action. Secondary instruction will primarily be in the form of review sessions or office hour visits for one-on-one instruction. The primary tool used by students to learn chemistry will be the textbook. This will be supplemented with hand-outs, demonstrations, labs, quizzes, and class problem solving exercises where appropriate. Additional resources such as websites and outside reading will be provided as necessary.

Recommended preparation

The prerequisites listed here are only recommendations and are not required. Students can be successful without them but will find that they will have to work harder as they will be learning both the chemistry and additional material rather than focusing on only the chemistry.

1) This is a quantitative course and requires some basic math skills. Knowledge of algebra and equation manipulation, logarithms, and basic statistics will be the most helpful skills to have. Experience with solving word problems is helpful.

2) A high school chemistry course. Previous exposure to the concepts presented in the class will aid in mastering them.

Class assignments and grading

There are several types of assignments provided:

1) There will be weekly graded homework. The homework sets are problems chosen from the text. Homework problems are chosen to gain proficiency with the most important chemistry concepts and practice quantitative problem solving.

2) There will be 8 graded lab write-ups. These are based on the lab work and will ask questions related to the laboratories. You will be required to show proficiency with quantitative relationships as well as understanding of the chemistry. Optionally, there may be a lab exam given.

3) There will be weekly quizzes that focus on the most recent material. These will be short (approximately 20 minutes) and will include calculations as well as short answer questions.

4) There will be one midterm exam and one final exam. These exams will be cumulative and will count for approximately 30% of the total grade.

5) There will be two extra credit problems available.

Grades will be based on: 1) weekly homework assignments, 2) one midterm exams, 3) one final exam, 4) weekly quizzes, 5) lab grade based on lab performance and lab reports. You MUST receive a passing grade in the laboratory portion of the class in order to receive a passing grade for this course.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Brandon Dearmond Finley
Date: 10/18/2010