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1405 Syllabus


This course is a preparatory course for students who have never had chemistry and covers the metric system, atoms and elements, bonding, solids, liquids, gases, stoichiometry, solutions, reactivity, and acids and bases. The lab includes experiments in inorganic chemistry. This course is appropriate for nursing students, as well as students who will pursue higher level chemistry.


Credits: 4 (6 contact hours per week, combination of lecture and lab activities)


Critical Thinking
Quantitative and Empirical Skills

1. Solve problems using procedures outlined in class using proper SI units and significant figures.
2. Identify the states of matter and the transitions between them.
3. Compare elements, compounds and mixtures.
4. Apply the Law of Conservation of Matter to balance chemical equations and solve simple stoichiometry problems.
5. Determine atomic structure and chemical properties of elements from their position in the periodic table.
6. Perform conversions in solving problems using concentrations of solutions.
7. Draw the Lewis Structure and determine the shape and polarity of a simple compound from its formula.
8. Identify simple inorganic compounds by both formula and name.
9. Identify acids and bases, acidic and basic solutions and calculate pH.
10. Demonstrate ability to carry out laboratory experiments using common chemical measuring devices, SI units, and safety precautions.


We will be covering chapters 1-11, 13. There will be some topics in the textbook that will not be covered in lecture. You will not be tested on this material unless I have specifically assigned it for you to read. There will also be a few topics that are not in the book that I will cover in lecture. You are responsible for this material.

The importance of understanding each topic in the course cannot be overemphasized. Chemistry is truly a course that relies on understanding early topics before an understanding of later topics can be realized. Since Introductory Chemistry is partially a skills course, there will be quite a few problems to work. It is required that you purchase a scientific, non-programmable calculator.

If you are having difficulty with a particular topic, be certain to get individual help promptly. (My office hours are posted.) There are also tutors in the ELC to help. Counseling is available for academic, career and personal matters. For a listing of campus counselors, please visit

You are not alone! We all want you to succeed.


Bauer, Birk, Marks Introduction to Chemistry, 5th ed. (McGraw Hill)
Underdown, Marie. Digging Chemistry! 11th ed.
Calculator: NOTE - Programmable calculators will not be allowed for use during the tests.
Laboratory notebook (bound not spiral)


Safety goggles
A lab coat or apron
A large three ring binder


Dr. Michael Sundermann


Building B, Room B 220A


Office 936-273-7077
Metro 936-321-5161, ext. 7077
Fax 936-273-7362


Fall 2019 Section 4213/4214: TTh, 9:00am - 11:50 am, B213/209

Regular Office Hours:
MW 10:30am - 12:00pm
TTh 1:00pm - 2:00pm


Week of Laboratory or Test

8/26 Lab Check-in and Safety

9/2 Labor Day Holiday, Monday 9/2
Classification of Matter

9/9 Test - Chapters 1, 2, Lab Safety

9/16 Emission Spectra

9/23 Chemical Reactions

9/30 Test - Chapters 3, 5, Math Toolbox 1.1, 1.2

10/7 Measurements and Significant Figures

10/14 Will it Float? Investigating Density

10/21 Test - Chapters 4, 6, Math Toolbox 1.3, 4.1

10/28 A Stoichiometrical Mystery

11/4 Determination of a Gas Law Constant

11/11 Test - Chapters 9, 7, 8

11/18 The Solutions Lab

11/25 Forensic Chemistry (handout)

12/2 Test - Chapters 10, 11, 13

12/9 Week of Final Exams

Please be aware that the lab and test schedule is tentative. Lab times and lecture times may be switched so be prepared to perform labs at anytime during the lecture and/or lab periods.


Studies have shown that consistently missing class and/or being tardy to class has an adverse effect on student performance and success. Any student tardy to lab will not be allowed to perform that lab. Laboratory instructions are crucial, not only to understanding the experiment, but for safety purposes as well.




The Six Drop Rule

FERPA The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, was established to protect the privacy rights of all students and applies to any educational facility receiving federal funds.

Lone Star College System District Board Policy Manual

Academic Integrity and Dishonesty The consequences for academic dishonesty are determined by the professor, or the professor and academic dean, or the professor and chief student services officer, and can include, but are not limited to: 1. Having additional class requirements imposed, 2. Receiving a grade of zero or "F" for an exam or assignment, 3. Receiving a grade of "F" for the course, 4. Being withdrawn from the course or program, 5. Being expelled from the college system.

Academic Appeals

ADA accommodations

Emergency Procedures

Concealed Carry


The breakdown of points is as follows:

50% Tests (Includes problem sets and group work)
30% Laboratory assignments
20% Final exam

The test grade will be calculated from the average of the top four out of five tests. The score from the fifth test will be dropped. No make-up tests will be given. If you believe an error was made in grading the test, you can ask for a regrade. Tests must be written in unerasable pen to be eligible for a regrade. Missing the final exam will drop your grade by one letter.

Note that the laboratory grade is thirty percent of the course grade. The lab grade will be earned by completion of lab assignments, pre-labs, lab quizzes and a lab notebook. The lowest lab grade will be dropped when the average is determined.

There will be five problem sets given to coincide with the material presented in lecture in order to help prepare for the tests. You may consult fellow students as well as the instructor for help with the problem sets, but you may not simply copy answers. These questions will be a good cross section of the material covered in class and will resemble the types of problems that will be on the tests. Your grade will depend on the completeness and accuracy of your answers. You must show your work to get full credit. The problem sets are worth 5% of each test grade, and they must be turned in on time for credit.

The letter grades will be determined from the calculated numerical grade, rounded to the nearest percent:

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
0-59 = F


Students will be assigned to small groups of 3 to 4 students. The members of each group are chosen by the instructor. You are encouraged to work in your group during class and thus will be required to sit with your group in class. (The members of your study groups will also constitute your lab partners.) Several group problems from the textbook will be assigned to groups for each testing unit. Once during each testing unit, approximately thirty minutes of class time will be devoted to the working of group problems. Because thirty minutes will not be sufficient time to look over all of the problems, students are encouraged to work in their group outside of class.

After group problems are reviewed, a short in-class quiz will be given, individually, consisting of one or more group problems. These quizzes will count 5% of your total grade. However, one member of each group, chosen randomly, will be selected to solve one or more of these questions and then explain those problems in front of the class using his/her notes only. The chosen studentís thoroughness and accuracy of explanation will determine his/her 5%. In addition, a grade of 0 to 3 will be assigned to each member of that studentís group depending on whether the answer and explanation are complete and correct. These points will be counted as EXTRA CREDIT on the appropriate test.

Group board work is considered a review. Obviously, if a group member is not present for the board work, he/she cannot receive his/her group points. It is your responsibility to be present at that time.

If a group becomes smaller than three members, the instructor will probably consolidate that group with another group.


Lab safety will be stressed in this class. Safety goggles must be worn at all times during the lab period. You will not be admitted to lab without proper eye protection. Additionally, a student may be dismissed from lab if he/she removes his/her safety glasses during the lab. Certain chemicals you will be working with may present a health hazard, be extremely reactive, or flammable. The instructor will review all safety aspects at the start of each lab.


In general, a pre-lab exercise must be completed before each laboratory. Normally the pre-lab assignment consists of reading the experiment and any supplemental material pertaining to the experiment. Additionally, the laboratory notebook must be prepared according to the guidelines given below. If the student has not completed the required pre-lab assignment by the beginning of the laboratory period, he/she will not be allowed to participate in the laboratory.

The grade for missed lab activities is zero. Missed labs cannot be made-up. Since the lowest lab grade is dropped, a single missed lab will not adversely affect the final grade.

Lab reports are usually required for each laboratory experiment. These reports are usually due on the next class day. Lab reports consist of the lab modules themselves with completed data tables and answers to all post-lab questions, unless notified otherwise.

Pre-labs are usually worth 3 points, the lab assignment itself is worth 3 points, and the data sheet and post-lab report is usually worth 9 points, for a total of 15 points per lab. Labs can be turned in up to a week late for a 3 point penalty.

Guidelines for laboratory notebooks:

1. The lab notebook will be a bound notebook.

2. The lab notebook will have a table of contents listing the page numbers of each lab. Each page of the notebook following the table of contents will be numbered consecutively. No pages should be ripped out of the notebook under any circumstances. Write only on one side of the page.

3. All information in the lab notebook will be in ink. Corrections will be crossed out with a single line through the incorrect statement or data. There should be no erasures. Laboratory notebooks are considered legal documents in academic and industrial research.

4. Each lab notebook will be organized as follows:

a. Title of the experiment.*
b. Date that the experiment was conducted*
c. Purpose of the experiment.*
d. Safety hazards*
e. A step-by-step procedure of the experiment*
f . A quantitative record of the actual data obtained in the experiment

*Pre-lab (to be completed before class)

5. The notebook will be ready for evaluation by the instructor at the beginning of the class period with a completed pre-lab write up (a Ė e above) and will be signed by the instructor to indicate completion. The student will not be permitted to do the lab exercise if the pre-lab write up in his/her notebook is not complete.

6. Each student must record his/her own data in his/her own lab notebook, not in the laboratory textbook or module. When a student has completed the lab, the instructor will sign his/her completed data table and the blank data table in the lab module. This indicates that not only has the lab been completed, but that the student has left his/her lab area clean and all equipment has been returned to its proper place. All data should be recorded in the lab notebook, not in the laboratory textbook or handout.