Welcome to Chemistry 101!

CHEM 101 is an introductory chemistry course that incorporates lectures, readings, problem-solving and laboratory experiments in developing an understanding of chemical concepts and practices. Prior study of chemistry is not assumed, but you should have taken at least one class in algebra before taking CHEM 101. For some students, CHEM 101 provides the chemistry required by their major area of study. For other students, CHEM 101 provides review and preparation for subsequent Chemistry classes such as CHEM 110 (Chemical Principles I) and CHEM 202 (Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry).

Chemistry is the central science that allows you to connect the microscopic structure of molecules to the observable properties and behavior of materials that we see everyday. Properties like water temperature, air pressure, and the color of flowers are determined by what is happening at the microscopic and atomic levels. By developing an understanding of basic chemical principles, you will be aware of what is happening at the microscopic level to cause the effects we see as temperature, pressure, and color on the macroscale.

Your main goals in Chem 101 are to gain a solid foundation of the principles of chemistry and use these principles to better understand your observations of the real world. Along the way, you will improve your observation skills and your ability to think critically about your observations. Doing experiments will help you learn good laboratory techniques in taking measurements properly, recording data carefully, and working safely. Using your experimental results, you will learn to analyze and draw logical conclusions from your data. Then you can connect what you observe in the lab with what you have read in the text and practiced in the online activities. The last step is to connect your observations in the lab and class with the real world.