Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | CHEM101 syllabus

COURSE TITLE:General Chemistry I
IAI CODE(S): P1 902L CHM 911 EGR 961 BIO 906 CLS 906 NUR 906
DELIVERY MODE:In-Person, Hybrid

The first semester of a two-semester sequence in College Chemistry for students in science and engineering. The topics include principles of atomic structure, bonding, stoichiometry, chemical equations, ideal gas laws, solutions and colloids, and oxidation-reduction. Class meets for 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of lab per week. The hybrid course uses recorded lectures mirroring the face-to-face section and meets for an hour each week and 3 hours of lab per week.

Place into MATH111; CHEM100 or its equivalent is recommended, but not required.

NOTES: A lab is required for this course. Some sections will require a separate lab, while other sections will include the lab.

Students completing this course will exhibit knowledge and competency in describing properties and reactivity of matter through words, calculations and experimental procedures. The student must be able to:
  • Describe and categorize types of matter using proper vocabulary and nomenclature by:
    • Listing the characteristics of solids, liquids and gases.
    • Distinguishing between and listing examples of physical properties, chemical properties, physical changes and chemical changes.
    • Identifying an element as a metal, nonmetal or metalloid given a Periodic Table.
    • Identifying a compound as either ionic or molecular given the compound's name or chemical formula.
    • Naming a compound appropriately using either the prefix or stock system of naming given the chemical formula.
  • Apply basic concepts and principles of atomic structure and bonding through:
    • Descriptions of the various models of the atom.
    • Calculating the energies of electronic transitions using the Rydberg equation.
    • Identification of the orbitals in each energy level and the electrons that occupy those orbitals.
    • Drawing correct Lewis dot diagrams to aid in the drawing of Lewis structures of chemical compounds.
    • Predicting properties and chemical reactivity of elements or compounds based on trends of the Periodic Table.
    • Predicting molecular shapes using VSEPR Theory.
  • Evaluate chemical reactivity of chemical species by:
    • Writing balanced, chemical equations.
    • Distinguishing between different types of chemical reactions based on the reagents and conditions given.
    • Calculating molecular weights, percent composition, mole ratios, limiting reagents and yields of chemical reactions through stoichiometry and the use of chemical formulas and balanced chemical reactions.
  • Apply knowledge of chemical properties and reactivity in a laboratory setting by:
    • Creating appropriate experimental setups with glassware and equipment.
    • Completing experiments in a time-efficient manner.
    • Describing experiment success through calculations of percent error and percent yield.
    • Summarizing the results and analyzing experimental methods through writing.

  • Fundamental Concepts ( 10%, Week 1)
    • Definitions of matter, energy, mass, weight, physical and chemical properties and changes.
    • Metric system and dimensional analysis including exponential notation and significant figures.
    • Density and specific heat.
  • Atoms, Molecules, Ions and Chemical Reactions (20%, Weeks 2 & 3)
    • Symbols and formulas.
    • Composition of atoms; isotopes.
    • Ionic vs molecular compounds.
    • Oxidation numbers and formulas of compounds.
    • Naming of compounds.
    • Classification of chemical reactions and balancing.
    • Balancing chemical equations.
  • Chemical Stoichiometry (20%, Weeks 3-5)
    • Atomic and molecular mass.
    • Moles of atoms and Avogadro's Number.
    • Percent composition and derivation of formulas.
    • Stoichiometric calculations.
    • Limiting reagents and percent yield.
    • Molarity and titrations.
  • Atomic Structure and Bonding (20%, Weeks 7-10)
    • Fundamental properties of electrons, protons, and neutrons and how they arrange to make up the nuclear atom.
    • The outdated, but understandable Bohr model of planetary electronic structure.
    • How the hydrogen spectrum can be explained using the Bohr model.
    • The electromagnetic spectrum in general.
    • Calculations using the Rydberg equation.
    • Basic concepts of the Quantum-Mechanical model of the atom which has replaced the Bohr model.
    • Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
    • The theory of main shells made up of subshells, subshells made up of orbitals and orbitals holding only two electrons maximum.
    • The relationship between s,p,d,f subshells and the periodic table.
    • Be able to write out electronic structure, EX: 1s2, 2s2, 2p6.
    • Identify the valence electrons of an atom and predict multiple oxidation states or valence for atoms.
    • Account for the variation in chemical and physical properties from one group or family on the periodic table to the other.
    • The variation of atomic and ionic radii and ionization potential from one element to another on the periodic table.
    • The variation of metallic and nonmetallic properties of the elements.
    • Understand the general concept of ionic and covalent bonding.
    • Draw Lewis dot diagrams for the elements.
    • Show bonding by drawing Lewis dot diagrams for molecules.
    • Electronegativity difference between atoms in a molecule and its effect on the polarity of the molecule.
    • Determine the formal charge of elements in compounds.
    • Use oxidation numbers to write formulas for compounds.
    • Predict reaction products.
    • Use the Valence Shell Electron-Pair Repulsion Theory, (VSEPR) to predict the shapes of molecules.
  • Kinetic Molecular Theory and the Ideal Gas Laws (15%, Weeks 11 & 12)
    • Kinetic molecular theory and Boyle's, Charles', and Graham's laws.
    • The ideal gas law equation.
    • Dalton's law of partial pressures.
    • Avogadro's hypothesis and applied stoichiometry.
  • States of Matter: Liquids and Solids Solutions (15%, Weeks 13-16)
    • Intermolecular forces and molecular arrangements for the liquid and solid state.
    • The heating curve, and energy associated with phase changes.
    • Predict relative intermolecular attractive forces, vapor pressure, boiling point, heat of vaporization, and solubility for selected compounds.
    • Definitions of various solutions and factors which affect solubility.
    • Dissolution of ionic compounds and electrolytes.
    • Percent composition (concentration), molarity, molality, mole fraction, parts per million.
    • Colligative properties, freezing point depression and boiling point elevation.
    • Definitions of acids and bases.
    • Describing chemical species as conjugate acid-base pairs.
    • Ranking or comparing acidity/basicity using the pH or pOH scale.
Weekly Lab Outline:
Experiments completed in this course are designed to develop basic skills and tools used in a laboratory setting and build critical thinking skills through analysis of the experimental procedures and results with mathematical calculations and writing. Weekly reports are written to show students' ability to organize and present data in a coherent manner and analyze the results of their experiment. All labs are conducted in a wet-lab and are hands-on. Lab meets for 2 hours and 50 minutes each week.
  • Lab 1 - Safety & Procedures
    • Students will review safety information, as well as laboratory policies and procedures.
  • Lab 2 - Precision & Accuracy
    • Determine the precision of different graduated cylinders, Erlenmeyer flasks, and beakers
    • Also, attempt to accurately determine the density of a simple solution.
      • Calculate the density of a salt solution.
      • Calculate percent error and relate to accuracy.
      • Calculate standard deviation and relate to precision.
      • Rank the glassware in terms of accuracy and precision to understand which glassware is best for each type of liquid measurement in an experiment.
      • Perform a single-displacement reaction.
      • Use of a Bunsen burner and hot plate.
      • Calculate theoretical yield and percent yield.
      • Investigate the Law of Conservation of Mass.
  • Lab 3 - Manganese Reactions
    • Examine the reaction of a metal with acid to produce reagent quality solids.
      • Perform a single-displacement reaction.
      • Use of a Bunsen burner and hot plate.
      • Calculate theoretical yield and percent yield.
      • Investigate the Law of Conservation of Mass.
  • Lab 4 - Precipitation Reactions
    • Perform a series of precipitation reactions to determine the contents of some unknown solutions.
      • Perform and observe several double-displacement reactions.
      • Identify a set of unknown solutions based on the known reactions performed.
      • Compare ions in terms of their ability to form soluble/insoluble compounds.
      • Write balanced equations with appropriate state symbols.
      • Identify precipitates based on the solubility rules.
  • Lab 5 - Carbonates & Bicarbonates
    • Examine limiting reagent concepts by reacting a simple acid with a known base.
      • Calculating theoretical yield.
      • Determining the limiting reactant in a reaction.
      • Observing how changing the amount of reactant can affect the limiting reactant.
      • Graphing data in Excel.
      • Relating the amount of gas evolved in the reaction to having optimal amounts of reactants present.
  • Lab 6 - A Salt from Metal
    • Synthesis of alum which teaches simple lab techniques, like isolating synthetic products, filtration and crystallization.
      • Perform and observe a synthesis reaction.
      • Use of a Bunsen burner, balance and Buchner funnel filtration.
      • Precipitation of a solid and isolation of a solid product from a liquid.
      • Limiting reactant, theoretical yield and percent yield calculations.
  • Lab 7 - Calorimetry
    • Examine the process of an efficient heat transfer from a reaction mixture to water.
      • Measure the change in temperature of a reaction of hydrochloric acid and magnesium and magnesium oxide.
      • Use of a stir plate and balance.
      • Calculate the amount of energy exchanged during the reaction.
      • Describe the reaction as endothermic or exothermic.
  • Lab 8 - Polymers
    • Synthesis of multiple polymers displaying cross-linking effects.
    • Synthesize polymers (nylon, polyvinyl alcohol, and bouncy balls) made of different monomers and amount of cross-linking.
      • Use observations to describe how cross-linking can affect the properties of a polymer.
      • Draw a diagram showing cross-linking in a polymer.
      • Discuss where student encounter polymers on a daily basis.
  • Lab 9 - VSEPR Theory
    • Examine geometric properties of molecules using model kits.
      • Draw the structure of several molecules and ions.
      • Determine the electronic and molecular geometry of molecules and ions.
      • Calculate formal charge.
  • Lab 10 - Spectrophotometry
    • Prepare multiple dilute solutions from a standard stock solution, then analyze their absorbance using a spectrophotometer.
      • Prepare an aqueous stock solution using volumetric flasks from a solid.
      • Dilute a stock solution using volumetric glassware.
      • Calibrating a spectrophotometer.
      • Taking absorbance readings of solutions.
      • Calculating concentration of solutions using the dilution equation.
      • Creating a calibration curve.
  • Lab 11 - Beer-Lambert Law
    • Using Beer's Law, determine the molecular formula of an unknown solid.
      • Determine the identity of an unknown copper compound using the calibration curve from Lab 10.
      • Calculating concentration using absorbance and Beer’s law.
      • Making solutions using volumetric glassware.
      • Taking absorbance measurements using a spectrophotometer.
  • Lab 12 - Gases
    • Perform a reaction between an acid and a common metal and examine the relationship between gases and stoichiometry.
      • Collecting gas from the reaction of hydrochloric acid and magnesium with a buret.
      • Calculating the volume of glassware using approximations.
      • Using a barometer to take atmospheric pressure.
      • Calculating pressure of an individual gas in a mixture using Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressure.
      • Calculating the theoretical moles of gas formed using stoichiometry.
      • Calculating experimental molar volume.
      • Comparing experimental molar volume to a theoretical value and to STP conditions.
  • Lab 13 - Intermolecular Forces
    • Examine the effects of intermolecular forces on different solutions.
      • Isolation of a protein from a dietary supplement tablet.
      • Use of a centrifuge to isolate solid from a liquid.
      • Observation of fluorescence of the protein in a variety of solvents, pH and temperature conditions.
      • Relating intermolecular forces to the folding of the protein in a control and the other samples.
      • Determining if the protein is folded or unfolded and if the folded or unfolded protein fluoresces.
  • Lab 14 - Acid/Base Reactions
    • Accurately perform multiple titrations to explore the mathematical possibilities of acid/base reactions.
      • Titration of sodium hydroxide with sulfuric acid and citric acid their appropriate indicators.
      • Use of a buret for titrations.
      • Calculation of the moles of acid and base used in the titration.
      • Calculation of the mole ratio of acid to base and comparison to the balanced chemical equation.
  • Lab 15 - Juices
    • Determine the acidic content of common juices by titration with a standard base.
      • Preparation of a stock solution.
      • Standardization of a stock solution.
      • Taste comparison of juices for acidity (done outside of lab).
      • Titration of two fruit juices and KHP.
      • Comparison of the taste of juice and the moles of acid present in the juice.


Text: Tro, N.J. Chemistry: A Molecular Approach. 4th edition. Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2017. ISBN-13:9780134112831. It is not necessary to bring this text to class daily, although you should be practicing the problems from the book as it may be useful for asking questions.

Lab Manual: CHEM 101 Lab Manual. A. Gaier. DACC custom lab manual. Fall 2017 edition.

Laboratory Notebook: A bound laboratory notebook with duplicate sheets. This is where you'll record your data in lab. I recommend the spiral bound 100 page carbon copy notebook from Hayden Mcneil Publishers. This notebook can often last students two semesters.

Safety Goggles: Students must purchase their own laboratory safety goggles. Goggles are available in the DACC Bookstore. If you already have your own, they must offer complete protection of the side of your eyes. (Look for the markings "Z87" stamped on the goggles.) Lab safety glasses are not acceptable for students.

Calculator: Any simple scientific or graphing calculator is sufficient.

Enclosed Shoes & Pants: For lab days. If you are not dressed appropriately you will not be allowed to participate.

See bookstore website for current book(s) at


Lab assignments/grading: The lab portion of the grade is composed of a prelab assignment, inlab data/observations, and post-lab questions. Each week, except for the Safety and VSEPR experiments, a prelab assignment must be completed which helps prepare the student for the experiment. If this assignment is not completed and turned in by the start of the lab, the student will not be allowed to stay for the experiment. Prelab assignments can be found in the lab manual. Students will collect data and observations during lab, and a copy of this will be turned in for points before the end of the lab. A set of questions concerning the experiment/data will be completed and turned in by the beginning of the following week of lab. The post-lab questions are also in the lab manual.

Grading is done as a weighted percentage. The following breakdown indicates the grading area, number of assignments/assessments in parentheses and the percentage.

Homework assignments (10-12)
Lab (see Lab section)
Quizzes (8-10)
Exams (4 or more)
Final Exam (Cumulative)

Grade Scale:
A= 90-100%
B= 80-89%
C= 70-79%
D= 60-69%
F= Below 60%


Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Spring 2019

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