Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: Grades 10–12
Schedule: 3x / week, 60–75 min.
Course Sections (choose one)
Section 1: M/W/F 2:00 p.m. ET with Kathryn Morton
Ongoing Enrollment and Placement
- if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
- if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
- if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
- if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
- If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
- If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
Placement: Honors Chemistry is for juniors and seniors who have taken, or are concurrently taking, Algebra II. The course utilizes mathematical skills such as algebraic manipulations of equations, ratios and proportions, unit conversions and significant figures. Toward the end of the course we will do pH calculations using logarithms and power functions.
Course Objectives as pertaining to General Chemistry for High School aged students (From John D. Mays’ Standard Problems List):
- Use metric system and significant figures fluently.
- Understand and mathematically represent atoms and substances, their density, molar mass and molar number.
- Describe Bohr’s model, electron configurations, % composition, empirical formulas and molecular formulas.
- Demonstrate sound understanding of periodic table and laws.
- Describe various bonds, draw Lewis structures, name compounds and write formulas.
- Understand and apply molecular theory and metallic bonding, intermolecular forces, bond angles, and bond strengths.
- Balance chemical equations, perform stoichiometric calculations, and predict reaction types.
- Describe and apply kinetic theory, explain surface tension, states of matter, and calculate energy of phase changes.
- Understand and apply gas laws
- Gain thorough working knowledge of solutions
- Learn acid-base-chemistry theories, write equations, describe and compute pH, titrate reactions.
- Learn eight significant historical figures in chemical history and describe their contributions to the field.
Class time: Live class meetings on Zoom consist of lecture, discussion, problem solving and experimentation. Students are expected to read the text and take notes at home in addition to lecture.
Mastery: In order to prepare students for college level chemistry, this course uses a mastery approach. This is achieved by covering fewer concepts at a deeper level. Our goal is to have a solid, working comprehension of these concepts and to apply the mathematical calculations accompanying them. Mastering these concepts now will create a tremendous foundation upon which higher level concepts can build in college. Regular review of important “standard problems” throughout the year will keep concepts relevant and fresh. Students will be expected to keep up with the daily workload of reading the text, taking notes, attending class, and completing the practice problems. This will get easier as good skills and habits are developed.
Integration: This course approaches science holistically, integrating history, mathematics, English language, faith, and the epistemology of science. During class we will contemplate and discuss these topics and outside of class students will write about them. We will consider the existence of scientific findings which may contradict biblical statements and explore meaningful, productive responses to them. We will discuss bias and how it affects science.
Laboratory: A good scientist must understand well-designed experimentation, the proper interpretation of results, and precise communication of his/her findings. The robust, high quality laboratory component for Honors General Chemistry consists of seven full experiments using laboratory-grade materials. The laboratory text Chemistry Experiments for High School at Home by Christina Swan and John D. Mays accompanies the text closely. Guidelines for lab report writing will follow The Student Lab Report Handbook by John D. Mays. Supplies can be found at Home Science Tools under the name “Economy Lab Kit for use with Novare General Chemistry”.
NOTE: Parents will be expected to be present during laboratory exercises to ensure the safety of their student and the following of proper procedure. Together they will pre-read the exercise and set up supplies prior to class time. Procedures will be followed during scheduled class time. Questions can be asked to the instructor during the exercise.
Grading: The grade will be based on several components: participation in class, quizzes, tests, essay, and six written laboratory reports. Homework is to be self-graded, using the answer key, upon completion of practice problems for immediate feedback.
Office Hours: The instructor will be available outside of regularly scheduled class time for questions and help in a Zoom room. Wednesdays 11:30am-12:30pm EST.
High School Credit: This course is equivalent to one high school credit in laboratory science.
Syllabus: View course syllabus here.
- General Chemistry by John D. Mays, 2nd Edition, Novare Science and Math, Austin, 2016.
- Solutions manual for General Chemistry, John D. Mays.
- Chemistry Experiments for High School at Home by Christina Swan and John D. Mays
- The Student Lab Report handbook, 2nd Ed. By John D. mays
- Economy Lab Kit for use with Novare General Chemistry, Home Science Tools
- Household Items for Lab: Sand (sand box sand or other coarse sand), aluminum foil, soda can, ethyl or isopropyl alcohol (>90% ) (16oz), baking soda, long-tipped butane lighter, distilled water, straight pin, three types of antacids (more info to come).
- Digital tablet (see technical requirements)
- Scientific calculator
- Spiral notebook or loose-leaf
- 3-ring binder
- Index cards
- Graph Ruled Composition book for lab exercises
*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.
Kathryn Morton has a BA in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University and a DVM from the University of Illinois. Upon graduation from veterinary school, she moved to Pennsylvania to work as a clinical research veterinarian on a large dairy farm. From there she transitioned to a busy, small animal practice doing medicine and surgery. When the call of homeschooling touched her heart, she left private practice to focus on her husband and six children. She has been teaching math and science courses to the homeschooled students in her local community for 13 years and she heads a robotics club at her town’s public library. She is a lifetime learner and enjoys teaching students about the beauty of the creation and helping them grasp complex topics. firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
Digital Tablet: Using a digital tablet in class allows students to more fully engage the course content by working out math problems on the digital whiteboard. We recommend using a Wacom Intuos tablet like this one, though similar products may be used.
Explore our courses!
First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
Read the Student-Parent Handbook.
Please take careful note of our teaching philosophy, our technology requirements, our school policies, the parent agreement, and the distinctions between our grade levels.
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Our Assistant to the Principal will be in touch with you after your enrollment to help you with next steps, including any placement evaluations that may be required for your course selections.
This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.