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Sunday, Sunday…

Chemistry 100/121 met for the first time today and participated in a very busy introductory class. Topics covered included: Scientific Method, Significant Figures and Metric-Metric Conversions. Several tasks were assigned that need to be completed by next Sunday.

  • Purchase a laboratory notebook, see picture on website. (approx. cost $4 or less)
  • Print the first six laboratory handouts – most are one page only. Read them over.
  • Create a business card for your chosen element.
  • Read Chapters One and Two in the textbook.
  • Consider participating in the One Book, One Chemistry Department extra credit project.
  • Explore the website and become familiar with the resources available to you.
  • Fill out the student interview and either bring it with you to class or send it to me via email.
  • Be observant.

I enjoyed meeting all of you and look forward to next week.


The best way to learn how to solve stoichiometry problems is to solve them. Practice for the Quiz on Tuesday. It will cover Polyatomic Ions, Chemical Reactions and Basic Stoichiometry Problems. You can use your stoichiometry map on this quiz.


On Wednesday we looked at lots of rocks. Keep looking! When you look at a rock try to decide if it is Igneous, Metamorphic or Sedimentary. If you decide it is Igneous then try to determine if it is entrusive or extrusive. The most common Igneous rocks are Granite and Basalt and they are around you everywhere. Other common rocks are (Sedimentary) limestone, sandstone, (Metamorphic) marble, slate. Our city buildings are often made of rock. Look closely at the walls.

Qualitative Analysis

Today, after spending some time using a lightbulb to test electrolytes and non-electrolytes, we carried out a qualitative analysis scheme to determine the identity of an unknown substance. After the lab I shared the following observations:

  • Carry out tests on known substances before testing unknown substances.
  • Be methodical in testing, use charts and try many possible combinations of substances. Carefully record all observations.
  • The scheme provided is not the only way to solve a qualitative problem – it is one way. It is fine to try other tests – if you are unsure about the safety of a test then please ask me about it.

Reminders about using the laboratory notebook:

  • Use INK not pencil
  • Record ALL data and observations directly into the notebook – do not recopy
  • No erasures, no white out – one line through mistakes
  • Record during laboratory as part of the process.

We worked for an hour after lab on classifying types of chemical reactions, balancing reactions and beginning stoichiometery. We will continue to work on problems in stoichiometery.

Assignments collected so far:

  • First laboratory – Laboratory Techniques (last Thursday)
  • Student Interview
  • KNEX activity (today)
  • Student Safety Contract (Emergency Contact Form)
  • Laboratory Equipment Inventory (Place in your drawer.)

Fill out the Student Interview if you have not already done so.
Work on homework assignments 1-6.
Continue to study the names of the polyatomic anions.
Research the answer to the question:

What chemical is produced in this country more than any other and why?

Some students still cannot log onto the student portion of the website…

Please email me if you cannot access the student area of the website. We are in the second week of classes and there is critical information that you are missing.

Identifying Mineral Samples

After looking at a variety of mineral samples, physical science students examined unknown minerals and used their knowledge of mineral properties to determine the identity of the samples. A mineral’s streak, luster, tendency to react with hydrochloric acid or not, cleavage, crystal form and color provide clues. Because mineral samples can contain impurities this is not as easy as it might seem to be.

Samples of minerals included halite (salt), pyrite (fool’s gold), fluorite (our state mineral), feldspar (becomes clay), quartz (becomes sand), gypsum (wallboard and chalk).

Chemical Reactions

Chemistry 201 students looked at examples of metathesis reactions today. A distinction was made between a gelatinous precipitate (like gelatin) and a crystalline precipitate. The solubility table was introduced. For example, all sodium salts are soluble.

Other reaction types that were discussed included combusion, acid-base neutralization, single replacement and redox.


  • Finish homework assignments one, two and three.
  • Prepare for laboratory on Tuesday

Buy labs one by one…

Phil is sharing this website: Centage Brain which allows students to buy individuals laboratories for our lab book. Look under the link: eChapter.

Welcome to Physical Science 111

Today the Physical Science class met for the first time. We went over the syllabus, the grading policies and started to discuss the structure of the atom. For homework students should sign up for the website and begin reading about minerals.

Welcome to Chemistry 201

Today Chemistry 201 FGH met for the first time. It was a very busy day. Everyone took a placement test. The results will be ready on Thursday. Students were asked to complete the student interview document on the website and to either email it or print it and turn it in on Thursday. Students were also asked to review the polyatomic ions.

Phil RomenelloPhil Romanello was introduced. He is our student ambassador. He’ll be attending class and providing tutoring outside of class. You may email him with any questions:

After laboratory check-in the first lab was completed. Students learned to light the Bunsen burner and to cut and bend glass tubing. “Hot glass and cold glass look alike!”

Glass tubing in a flameOne observation was that placing glass in a flame changed the color of the flame. As the glass became hot enough to ionize sodium atoms the flame became yellow-orange. Bending glass takes a lot of patience because these Bunsen burners don’t get very hot.

At the end of class students should have turned in the safety contract. The laboratory worksheet is due on Thursday. All future labs will be recorded in a laboratory notebook. Please purchase one as soon as possible. They can be bought for around $4 at Staples. They are also available at CVS and any stores that carry office supplies. Beck’s Bookstore also has a supply.


The Metric System

The tip of a pen.The metric system is the measurement system used by scientists and much of the world. One of the strategies for learning the metric system is to learn about the measurements of objects that you use everyday. Digital microphotography let’s us measure distances in the millimeter range.

Physical Science 111

This IAI General Education course satisfies the requirement for a laboratory science for our AA Degree and AS Degree.

Chemistry 100/121

A few folks have asked why there are two courses that must be taken together. The two courses are taught as one single course but for historical reasons they are divided in our catalog into two parts. The reason for the Chemistry 100 originally was to provide extra time in class to practice the mathematical aspects of the course and to allow more time for in-class problem solving.

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