SCI304: Honors Chemistry

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

This advanced chemistry course gives students a solid basis to move on to more advanced courses. The challenging course surveys all key areas, including atomic structure, chemical bonding and reactions, solutions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, organic chemistry, and nuclear chemistry, enhanced with challenging model problems and assessments. Students complete community-based written research projects, treat aspects of chemistry that require individual research and reporting, and participate in online threaded discussions.

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Course Length

Two Semesters

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Success in previous science course, MTH123 or MTH124 (Honors): Algebra I (or equivalents), and a teacher/counselor recommendation

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Course Outline


Unit 1: The Study of Chemistry

Students explore chemistry as one of the sciences and confront concepts of matter, energy, the metric system, and scientific methods. Students examine the relationship of matter and energy, including learning about classification of matter. To prepare students for solving chemistry problems throughout the course, students learn about the metric system, significant figures, and the scientific method as applied in chemistry research.

  • Semester Introduction
  • Chemistry and Society
  • Matter and Energy
  • Pure Substances
  • Mixtures
  • Laboratory: Paper Chromatography 1
  • Laboratory: Paper Chromatography 2
  • Properties of Substances
  • Problem Solving in Chemistry
  • Metric System: Base Units
  • Metric System: Derived Units
  • Graphing
  • Scientific Method and Chemistry
  • Honors Project 1

Unit 2: Atomic Structure

This unit introduces students to the atom and examines changing perspectives of the nature of the atom throughout history. In following a historical story, students learn about the parts of the atom and its properties such as atomic number, atomic mass, atomic orbitals, and electron arrangement. To ensure the most current understanding of the atom, students examine the quantum theory of the atom and its use in understanding atomic spectra. This unit prepares students for the periodic table.

  • Early Theories of the Atom
  • The Nuclear Atom
  • Atomic Number and Mass Number
  • Ions
  • Isotopes and Atomic Mass
  • Laboratory: Properties of Substances 1
  • Laboratory: Properties of Substances 2
  • The Bohr Atom
  • Electron Orbitals
  • The Quantum Atom and Atomic Spectra

Unit 3: The Periodic Table

With a basis in matter and the structure of the atom, students now turn their attention to the organization of atoms and elements and their graphic representation as a periodic table. The properties of the periodic table are defined, and then students examine trends that are brought out by the arrangement of atoms according to atomic number. Students study elements by learning about metals and other classes of elements.

  • Atomic Number and the Periodic Law
  • The Periodic Table
  • Electron Arrangement Patterns
  • Trends within the Periodic Table
  • Metals
  • Nonmetals
  • Laboratory: Reaction of Metals 1
  • Laboratory: Reaction of Metals 2
  • Metalloids
  • Honors Project 2
  • Inner Transition Metals

Unit 4: Chemical Bonding

Atoms form bonds. In the first part of this unit, students learn about different types of bonds, principally ionic and covalent bonds. This unit focuses on recognizing why and how bonds form and the naming of the substances involved. Included in this unit are examinations of metallic bonding and of intermolecular forces that result in hydrogen bonds.

  • Monatomic Ions
  • Polyatomic Ions
  • The Ionic Bond and Salts
  • Properties of Ionic Compounds
  • Naming Ionic Compounds
  • Laboratory: Salts: Precipitation Reactions 1
  • Laboratory: Salts: Precipitation Reactions 2
  • Bonding in Metals
  • The Covalent Bond and Molecules
  • Lewis Structures
  • Molecular Shapes
  • Van der Waals Forces

Unit 5: Chemical Reactions

Bonding is now firmly established, so students can progress to learning how bonds break and form in chemical reactions. Different types of chemical reactions are explored in both direct instruction and virtual laboratory experiences. Students learn the fundamentals of products and reactions and learn to balance equations to show that mass is conserved as change happens in these reactions.

  • The Conservation of Mass
  • Balancing Chemical Equations
  • Combustion Reactions
  • Synthesis Reactions
  • Decomposition Reactions
  • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
  • Single Displacement Reactions
  • Double Displacement Reactions
  • Laboratory: Chemical Reactions 1
  • Laboratory: Chemical Reactions 2

Unit 6: Stoichiometry

Now that students understand the basics of chemical reactions and the ability to balance chemical equations, it is possible for them to apply this knowledge to real-world situations. Stoichiometry is the study of determining the yields of chemical reactions, given the masses of some parts of the chemical equation. Mastering this allows students to solve problems similar to those that confront chemists in industrial production.

  • Stoichiometry and Its Uses
  • Mole-Number Relationships
  • Mole-Mass Relationships
  • Mole-Volume Relationships
  • Moles and Chemical Equations
  • Laboratory: Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions 1
  • Laboratory: Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions 2
  • Calculating Yields of Reactions
  • Percent Yield

Unit 7: Semester Review and Test

  • Semester Review
  • Semester Test


Unit 1: States of Matter

The study of gases, liquids, and solids not only tells us of their properties, but gives us a strong basis for understanding how matter is organized and how it behaves. Students closely examine how a volume of gas behaves under changing conditions of pressure and temperature. Students also investigate some of the properties of liquids and solids, and relate all three states of matter using phase diagrams.

  • Semester Introduction
  • The Behavior of Gases
  • Boyle's Law
  • Charles's Law
  • Gay-Lussac's Law
  • Laboratory: Gas Laws 1
  • Laboratory: Gas Laws 2
  • The Ideal Gas Law
  • Absolute Zero
  • Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures
  • Graham's Law of Effusion
  • Phase Diagrams
  • Honors Project 3
  • Some Properties of Liquids
  • Some Properties of Solids

Unit 2: Solutions

Much of chemistry involves understanding solutions, in which a solute is placed in a solvent. The properties of the resulting solution can be understood by examining the interactions between the parts of a solution. Students learn the various ways to describe the concentration of solution and how to separate the component substances.

  • Solutions
  • The Dissolving Process
  • Laboratory: Factors Affecting Solution Formation 1
  • Laboratory: Factors Affecting Solution Formation 2
  • Molarity and Mole Fraction
  • Molality and Mass Percent
  • Colligative Properties
  • Separating Solutions

Unit 3: Acids and Bases

Most students entering chemistry have some experience with acids and bases from everyday life. In this unit, after examining the properties of acids and bases, students analyze different definitions of acids and bases that have been developed since the time of Arrhenius. They learn how to solve problems dealing with the strength of acids and bases. Students gain practical experience working with acids and bases in a virtual laboratory setting, including doing titrations.

  • Properties of Acids and Bases
  • Arrhenius Acids and Bases
  • Bronsted-Lowery and Lewis Acids and Bases
  • Measuring Acids and Bases
  • Buffers and Titration
  • Laboratory: Titration: Testing Water Quality 1
  • Laboratory: Titration: Testing Water Quality 2
  • Strength of Acids and Bases

Unit 4: Chemical Thermodynamics

A vital part of the study of matter is learning about the energy associated with both chemical and physical changes. The study of energy in chemical systems is called chemical thermodynamics. It involves understanding that energy is conserved during chemical reactions and also when substances change from gas to liquids to solids—and back again. Overarching all this content is the law of conservation of energy.

  • The Conservation of Energy
  • Measuring the Flow of Heat
  • Laboratory: Heat Transfer 1
  • Laboratory: Heat Transfer 2
  • Specific Heat
  • Changes in Enthalpy
  • Writing Thermochemical Equations
  • Heat during Changes of State
  • Hess's Law

Unit 5: Reaction Rate and Equilibrium

In the previous unit, students developed a basic understanding of the role of energy in chemistry and how it applied to certain processes. In this unit, students examine the role of energy in two important chemical phenomena: reaction rates and system equilibria. Based on an understanding of collision theory, students develop a "big idea" understanding of why chemical reactions do and do not occur.

Reaction Rates and Energy of Activation

  • Factors Affecting Reaction Rates
  • Laboratory: Reaction-Rate Factors 1
  • Laboratory: Reaction-Rate Factors 2
  • Collision Theory
  • Equilibrium
  • Le Chatelier's Principle
  • Spontaneous Reactions
  • Entropy and Free Energy

Unit 6: Electrochemistry

In this unit, students conduct a systematic study of the electrochemical processes. They learn the basics of the conversion of electrical energy to chemical energy and vice versa. They examine voltaic cells, batteries and electrolytic cells.

  • Electrochemical Processes
  • Honors Project 4
  • Voltaic Cells
  • Laboratory: Electroplating 1
  • Laboratory: Electroplating 2
  • Dry Cells
  • Electrolytic Cells

Unit 7: Organic Chemistry

As students move through this curriculum, they learn about chemicals and their relationship to living things. In this unit, they conduct a systematic study of carbon-based compounds as they study organic chemistry and biochemistry. First, they confront some types of organic compounds and learn about schemes for naming them. Students then turn their attention to biochemistry, including an examination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

  • Hydrocarbons and Other Organic Chemicals
  • Laboratory: Modeling Organic Compounds
  • Polymers
  • Carbohydrates and Fats
  • Proteins and Nucleic Acids

Unit 8: Nuclear Chemistry

The reactions that form the basis of the study of classical chemistry are those involving relationships between electrons of reactants and products. Nuclear chemistry, however, is a branch of chemistry that deals with the atomic nucleus, its particles, and forces. Students learn about radioactivity, transmutation of elements, and aspects of nuclear fission and fusion. In addition, students become aware of the uses of nuclear chemistry in the modern world.

  • Forces within the Nucleus
  • Radioactivity and Half-Life
  • Laboratory: Calculating Half-Life
  • Transmutation of Elements
  • Nuclear Fission and Fusion

Unit 9: Semester Review and Test

  • Semester Review
  • Semester Test
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Lesson Scheduling

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K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling