Chemistry I Syllabus

Chemistry I

Mr. Wilbanks


Course objective:  The objective of this course is to prepare students to succeed in understanding the chemical systems that govern our everyday lives and develop the skills to apply that knowledge effectively.


Course Outline:


Course Introduction:

  • Instructor introduction and course expectations.
  • Students will develop a social contract to govern the class.


Unit 1 – Lab safety, the scientific method, errors in science, weight and mass, volume and density, types of research, observations, accuracy and precision, and engineering design principles.

  • Lab safety, equipment, and procedure test Wednesday, August 9th.
  • Introductory accuracy and precision lab.


Unit 2 – Matter:

  • Distinguish among elements, compounds, solutions, colloids, and suspensions.
  • Identify the properties of matter.
  • Determine the percent by volume of a solution.
  • Investigate the characteristic properties of matter.
  • Explore the interactions between matter and energy.
  • Compare and contrast heat and temperature changes in chemical or physical processes.
  • Investigate similarities and differences among solids, liquids and gases in terms of energy and particle spacing.
  • Apply the kinetic molecular theory to describe solids, liquids, and gases.

Unit 3 – Atomic Structure

  • Compare and contrast historical models of the atom.
  • Compare and contrast the major models of the atom (i.e., Bohr, and the quantum mechanical model).
  • Interpret a Bohr model of an electron moving between its ground and excited states in terms of the absorption or emission of energy.
  • Compare the Bohr model and the quantum mechanical electron-cloud models of the atom.
  • Determine the Lewis electron dot structure or number of valence electrons for an atom of any main-group element from its atomic number or position in the periodic table.
  • Identify the contributions of major atomic theorists: Bohr, Chadwick, Dalton, Planck, Rutherford, and Thomson.
  • Represent an electron’s location in the quantum mechanical model of an atom in terms of the shape of electron clouds (s and p orbitals in particular), relative energies of orbitals, and the number of electrons possible in the s, p, d and f orbitals.




Unit 4 – Periodicity

  • Analyze the organization of the modern periodic table.
  • Interpret the periodic table to describe an element’s atomic makeup.
  • Describe the trends found in the periodic table with respect to atomic size, ionization energy, and electronegativity.
  • Analyze graphs and describe the behavior of functions (e.g., concentration of a solution, phase diagrams, solubility graphs, nuclear decay, half-life, etc.)
  • Understand nuclear decay and be able to predict the products of a nuclear reaction.
  • Calculate half-life.


Unit 5 – Naming, Formulas, Chemical Reactions, and Chemical Bonding:


  • Analyze ionic and covalent compounds in terms of their formation, names, chemical formulas, empirical formula, percent composition, and molar masses.
  • Investigate chemical bonding.
  • Convert percent composition information into the empirical or molecular formula of a compound.
  • Determine the reactants, products, and types of different chemical reactions: composition, decomposition, double replacement, single replacement, combustion.
  • Predict the products of a chemical reaction (e.g., composition and decomposition of binary compounds).


Unit 6 – Stoichiometry


  • Balance a chemical equation to determine molar ratios.
  • Apply measurement/unit relationships including Avogadro’s number, molarity, molality, and mass to balance chemical equations.
  • Convert among the following quantities of a substance: mass, number of moles, and number of particles.
  • Identify and solve stoichiometry problems which interconvert moles and mass.


Unit 7 – Gas Laws and Gas Stoichiometry

  • Predict how changes in volume, temperature, and pressure affect the behavior of a gas.
  • Convert among the following quantities of a substance: mass, number of moles, number of particles, molar volume at STP.
  • Apply measurement unit relationships including Avogadro’s number, molarity, molality, volume, and mass to balance chemical equations.
  • Identify and solve stoichiometry problems which interconvert volume of gases at STP, moles, and mass.


Unit 8 – Acids and Bases


  • Classify substances as acids or bases based on their formulas and how they react with litmus paper, red cabbage, and phenolphthalein.
  • Predict the products of a neutralization reaction involving inorganic acids and bases.





            Each unit will have a project associated with it.  The projects will be discussed at the beginning of the unit and the due date will be determined at that time.  Some projects will be student chosen and some will be instructor chosen.  Complicated projects may be completed in groups with instructor approval.




            Chemistry I is a lab science.  Each unit will have a lab.  Students will not be able to participate in labs unless they pass the lab safety test and return a signed lab safety contract.


Final Paper


            Reading and writing skills are mandatory for success in high school, secondary schools, and the work force.  Therefore, it is imperative that you learn how to express yourself in a cogent manner.  Your assignment is to pick a topic that you are interested in that relates to chemistry or science in general, and write a paper.  For instance, if you like diesel trucks you could do research on the development of DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) and how it helps control emissions.


            Your final draft will be due Friday, April 28, 2017.  Your paper will need to consist of at least 5 substantial paragraphs that fill at least 3 pages.  Your paper must use “Times New Roman” font with a maximum font size of 12 points.  You must use at least 3 reputable sources and your paper must be cited using APA (American Psychological Association) notation.  You can find citation generators and rules for APA on the internet, in a “Hodges Harbrace” notation book, or you could ask your instructor.  Your paper will be graded on content, as well as the proper use of grammar and punctuation.  I will happily proof-read any of your papers for you if you give me ample time to do so.  All papers will be checked for plagiarism.  DO NOT CUT AND PASTE FROM GOOGLE!!!





Grades will be determined using the following guide lines:


            Class Assignments/Homework               10-40 Points each

            Labs                                                     30-100 Points each

            Exams                                                  100 Points each

            Projects                                                50-100 Points each

Final Paper                                           200 Points

            End of Course Test                               15% of final grade


            Final Grade = (Points Earned / Total Points Available) x 100%


Instructor Availability


Students needing extra help may schedule time with me for extra instruction before or after school.  Students may also contact me via email ( for help on assignments.  My email goes directly to my phone and will be read and responded to as fast as possible.

Parents may contact me by phone at school during school hours, by email, or by scheduling and meeting at the school.