Syllabus and Materials for Chem 1A


Chem 1A is a one semester college general chemistry course. Atomic structure, the periodic table, molecular structure and bonding, chemical reactions, the mole concept, stoichiometry, gas laws, thermochemistry, solutions, colligative properties, equilibrium, and phase diagrams will be addressed. 13 to 16 chapters will be covered in 16 weeks (or about 1 chapter per week). Problem solving and critical thinking skills are emphasized.


Listed bold chapters below from Tro 5th or 6th Edition are covered in the order given: 

· Chapter 1 Introduction: Matter, Measurement and Problem Solving

· Chapter 2 Atoms and Elements

· Chapter 3 Molecules and Compounds

· Chapter 4 Chemical Reactions and Chemical Quantities

· Chapter 5 Introduction to Solutions and Aqueous Reactions

· Chapter 6 Gases

· Chapter 8 The Quantum Mechanical Model of the Atom

· Chapter 9 Periodic Properties of the Elements

· Chapter 10 Chemical Bonding I:  The Lewis Model

· Chapter 11 Chemical Bonding II: Molecular Shapes, Valence Bond Theory and MO Theory.

· Chapter 7 Thermochemistry

· Chapter 12 Liquids, Solids, and Intermolecular Forces

· Chapter 14 Solutions

Additional topics may be covered as time permits:

· Chapter 13 Solids and Modern Materials

· Chapter 16 Chemical Equilibrium

· Chapter 17 Acids and Bases


Times and places:

Lecture – MoWe 6:00 PM – 7:15 PM in D-119 main campus (section 20845).

Lab – MoWe 3:00 PM – 5:50 PM (section 20846) in room 150 at 860 Atlantic for wet lab or D-119 main campus for required problem sessions and supplemental lectures.


Instructor: Peter Olds


Office Hours: TBA or by appointment or leave message.


Required Course Materials:

eText: Chemistry 5th or 6th Edition by Tro  ($10.99/mo). Most exam questions come from Tro.

Gen chem hardcopy textbook for open book exams.  Recommend Petrucci General Chemistry. (under $10 at ebbay.)

ALEKS for General Chemistry account. 

  • one semester access Gen Chem: $83.28 (18 weeks online purchase)
  • two semester access for Gen Chem:$113.01 (52 weeks online purchase)

Laptop computer with broadband internet access

Scientific calculator (graphing calculators and cell phones not allowed during exams)

Laboratory notebook and lab safety glasses.

Lab Safety Note: No sandals, shorts, food, or drink allowed in the lab! Protective shoes and clothing are required.

Exam Schedule:

Exam 1 on Chapters 1, 2 and 3

Exam 2 on Chapters 4, 5 and 6

Exam 3 on Chapters 8, 9, 10 and 11 

Comprehensive ACS Final Exam including Chapters 7, 12, 14 and 13 

Grading Scheme:

50% Exams (Exams 1, 2 and 3 are 10% each.  Final exam is 20%.).

20% ALEKS General Chemistry (adaptive homework and assessments progress).

20% Labs (attendance, bench work and lab reports required).

10% Class participation including attendance, office hours, problem solving sessions and discussions.



Course Number:  Chem 1A

Course Title:  General Chemistry

Course Level Student Learning

Assessment Methods

1. Solve quantitative chemistry
problems demonstrating clear reasoning, integrating multiple ideas in the
problem solving process, and checking results to make sure they are
physically reasonable.

Biweekly tests, a mid-term exam
and a final exam will be given to assess typical Chem 1A level quantitative
reasoning ability including including equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics,
electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry problems, etc.

2. Describe and explain chemical
concepts plus trends qualitatively.  Use molecular scale
models/descriptions to qualitatively explain laboratory scale physical and
chemical properties.


Biweekly tests, a mid-term exam
and a final exam will be given to assess typical Chem 1A level explanation
ability including questions on microscopic interpretation of thermodynamic
properties and their connection with whether a process (like a chemical
reaction) is spontaneous or not.

 3. Safely carry out chemistry experiments in the lab,
accurately recording observations and data in a laboratory notebook.
Clearly report interpretations, analysis of results, and conclusions in laboratory


Weekly experiments will be carried
out in the lab, for which laboratory reports will be collected and graded the
following week.  50% of the lab-report grade will address hands-on lab
performance.  50% of the lab-report grade will address quality of lab