Chemistry is the study of matter at or near the atomic scale. Students will learn about the properties of matter and the transformations and interactions of matter and energy. Central to chemistry is the interaction of one substance with another, such as in a chemical reaction, where a substance or substances are transformed into another. Chemistry primarily studies atoms and collections of atoms such as molecules, crystals or metals that make up ordinary matter. Students will be able to see how the concepts we learn at the atomic and subatomic level lead to the macroscopic properties they see. As we go through the semester we will continue to come back to the following big ideas of chemistry.
Big Ideas of Chemistry
- Conservation of matter and Energy
- Behavior and Properties of Mater
- Particulate Nature of Matter
- Equilibrium and Driving Forces
Students will also develop their understanding of science by doing labs and reading scientific articles that show real world application of chemistry in fields like medicine, mineralogy, metallurgy, chemistry and computer technology, chemical engineering and more. Below are the essential skills students will be using to be considered literate in science. They were developed by the National Science Education Standards (NSES).
The NSES defines scientific literacy as the ability to:
1. Ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences;
2. Describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena;
3. Read and understand articles in the popular press and engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions;
4. Identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express ideas that are scientifically and technically informed;
5. Evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its sources and methods; and
6. Pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and apply conclusions appropriately (NRC, 1996)