Chemistry helps us to make sense of the world we live in—from why soap cleans greasy plates to whether or not biofuels are a beneficial energy path. First semester topics include lab techniques and safety; scientific methods; measurement; chemical and physical change; kinetic theory and states of matter; atomic structure; periodic table and trends; electron configuration; chemical bonding; and an intro to nanotechnologies. Second semester topics include laboratory safety; problem solving and dimensional analysis; chemical quantities; the gas laws; chemical reactions; balancing equations; solution chemistry; reaction rates and equilibrium; conservation of mass and energy; acids, bases, salts; carbon-based chemistry; and nuclear chemistry. Students use online graphing techniques, at-home labs and virtual labs to investigate chemistry concepts. Authentic scenarios are presented each week for analysis and discussion; these allow students to construct their own meaning of the concepts presented.
Course materials: Online edition of Chemistry (Prentice Hall, 2005); selected web sites. Students are asked to purchase an inexpensive set of science equipment and common household materials—the list is available on the MNOHS web site and will be updated one week before the start of each semester. Before a student can enroll in a MNOHS science course, MNOHS must receive a permission form signed by a parent or guardian (if the student is under 18).
Standards met: Students who successfully complete Chemistry A and B will have surpassed the following strands and substrands of the 2009 Minnesota Science Standards for Grades 9-12: The Nature of Science and Engineering (all); Physical Science (Substrands 1, 4, and part of 3); Chemistry (all).
Credit: 1.0 (Semester A = 0.5 credit, Semester B = 0.5 credit.)
Honors Opportunity: Yes
Prerequisites: None for Chemistry A. Algebra 1 and Chemistry A, or the equivalent, for Chemistry B.