CH-120: Fundamentals of Chemistry

Course Information

Course, prefix, number, & title: CH-120 Fundamentals of Chemistry

Hours (Class, recitation, Laboratory, studio): 3 class hours

Credits: 3

Pre-requisites (if any): None

Co-requisites (if any): CH-121

Course Description in college catalog:

This course covers the most fundamental laws, theories, and principles of general chemistry, including classification and properties of matter; measurements; elements and compounds; atomic theory and structure; the periodic table; chemical equations; the mole concept and stoichiometry; chemical bonding; and acids and bases. It is appropriate for non-science majors or as preparation for General Chemistry I (CH-151). This course is not open to students who have completed CH-127, CH- 128, CH-151, CH-152, CH-251 or CH-252.


Academic programs for which this course serves as a requirement or an elective:

General Education Outcomes: Below is a listing of General Education Outcome(s) that this course supports.

  1. Use analytical reasoning to identify issues or problems and evaluate evidence in order to make informed decisions

  2. Reason quantitatively as required in various fields of interest and in everyday life

Course-specific student learning outcomes:

Students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of chemistry, including classification and properties of matter; elements and compounds; atomic theory; the periodic table; chemical composition; chemical equations; acids and bases; and chemical bonding.

Students will apply the scientific method by conducting laboratory experiments that focus on physical and chemical properties, reaction types, and chemical structure in order to demonstrate, apply, and reinforce the concepts taught in the lecture. By solving problems in lecture and performing experiments in the lab, students will learn how to gather and interpret their data, observations and results and how to present their conclusions. 

Students will work in groups of two to perform five experiments. They will be trained in laboratory safety, basic experimental methods and techniques, and proper waste disposal.

Students will learn how to compose a formal laboratory report with a well-defined format for each experiment. The written report submitted by each individual student will include relevant theory, data and calculations, and analysis/discussion of results.

Students will learn to obtain unbiased data and results by applying the concept of significant figures to experimental measurements and calculations, and by performing multiple trials in the laboratory whenever possible. Students will discuss the accuracy and precision of their results, as well as the limitations and assumptions of each experiment.

Methods by which student learning will be assessed and evaluated; describe the types of methods to be employed; note whether certain methods are required for all sections:

The overall grade will be computed from the components below. The distribution may be changed at the discretion of the individual instructor.

Exams: 40%

Laboratory Reports: 20%

Homework & quizzes: 10%

Laboratory Performance: 5% (safety, techniques, participation, and attendance)

Classroom Performance: 5% (participation and attendance)

Final Exam: 20%

BONUS: take-home exam

EXAMS: There will be four one-hour exams and a cumulative final exam. The specific format will be determined by the instructor. A cumulative take-home exam will also be given to help you prepare for the final. 5% of this exam grade will be added to your total course grade as bonus points. This exam cannot hurt your grade. More information will be provided in class.

HOMEWORK & QUIZZES: Homework and quizzes will be assigned at the discretion of the instructor. Assignments will come from the textbook or be designed by the instructor.

LABS: There will be five three-hour lab sessions. (The titles and experiment numbers are listed on the class schedule.) This is separate from CH-121, which is a separate laboratory course. Students will demonstrate their preparedness for the lab by completing a pre-lab exercise. Students will work collaboratively in pairs on each experiment, but each student will write an individual lab report. The exact format for lab reports will be explained by the instructor. The points assigned to lab reports will be determined by the individual instructor. There will be no makeup labs or dropped lab grades.

Academic Integrity policy (department or College):
Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any violation of academic integrity is taken extremely seriously. All assignments and projects must be the original work of the student or teammates. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any questions regarding academic integrity should be brought to the attention of the instructor. The following is the Queensborough Community College Policy on Academic Integrity: "It is the official policy of the College that all acts or attempted acts that are violations of Academic Integrity be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. At the faculty member's discretion and with the concurrence of the student or students involved, some cases though reported to the Office of Student Affairs may be resolved within the confines of the course and department. The instructor has the authority to adjust the offender's grade as deemed appropriate, including assigning an F to the assignment or exercise or, in more serious cases, an F to the student for the entire course." Read the University's policy on Academic Integrity opens in a new window(PDF).

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based upon the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services in Science Building, Room S-132, 718-631-6257, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You can visit the Office of Accessibility Services website.

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