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a-g ​High School Chemistry

The price is $650 for the semester, or $1300 annually, including all lab materials.

Instructor: Malika Bell, M.S. ​

Textbook:

We will use a free online book through CK-12.

The book is available here.
Prerequisite: 

Algebra I or Integrated Math 1, or equivalent experience.  Students must understand how to use algebra to solve general word problems and equations.  

Course Description: 

This is a one-year standards-based course of study of fundamental chemical concepts. This course is designed to be an introductory course in chemistry to prepare students to succeed in a college-level chemistry course and provide them with a solid foundation that will better enable them to explore other scientific fields such as biology, physics, and geosciences. In this laboratory science course, students will be involved in several different learning approaches, such as classroom work, independent bookwork, associated text assignments, laboratory sessions, alternative group work, and applications of mathematics and problem-solving.  The students will demonstrate their critical thinking abilities by answering analytical questions from the textbook, key assignments, and lab activities. The students will gain a greater depth of understanding of fundamental chemical concepts, such as atomic theory and its relation to chemical behavior, chemical bonding, the mole and stoichiometry, molecular kinetics, energy relationships, solution dynamics, acids-bases, equilibrium, organic and biological chemistry, and nuclear interactions. 

This course is designed to help students think scientifically and develop the skills necessary to succeed in an entry-level college chemistry course. Students will develop critical thinking skills required to not only understand key concepts but be able to apply, analyze, and synthesize these concepts. This course is created to give options to students who learn in different ways while ensuring that all students can ask questions, define and solve problems through investigations, analyze and interpret data and use it to create models, argue using evidence, and think critically about Chemistry.  By the end of this course, students will attain these higher-level thinking and processing skills necessary for success in college courses. Students will also master the NGSS and California Chemistry Content Standards.

Fall Semester

Unit 1: Structures and Properties of Matter

In this unit, students will understand the structures and properties of matter and that Chemistry is a physical science. They will study matter and its properties, elements, the Scientific Method, units of measurement, using Scientific Measurements, measurements and calculations, the atom from a philosophical idea to scientific theory, the structure of the atom, counting atoms, and atoms as the building blocks of matter.  In this unit, students will understand the arrangement of electrons in atoms, The Development of a New Atomic Model, The Quantum Model of the Atom, Electron Configurations, the history of the Periodic Table, electron configuration and the Periodic Table, electron configuration and periodic properties, the Periodic Law, chemical bonding, covalent and molecular compounds, ionic bonding and ionic compounds, metallic bonding, and molecular geometry.  
Students will learn to use the periodic table to gain information and use that information to solve chemical problems, infer and predict chemical bonding, and write chemical equations.  Students will use the knowledge of electron configuration to predict and analyze chemical reactions and apply that knowledge to the labs.  Students will draw molecular geometry and be able to explain why the drawing is accurate based on their knowledge of electron configuration. Students will understand chemical formulas and chemical compounds, chemical names and formulas, oxidation numbers, and using, determining, and describing chemical formulas, equations, and reactions.  Students will understand and use the knowledge of types of chemical reactions. Students will define and predict chemical equations and hypothesize and analyze those equations in a lab setting.  Students will apply their understanding of electron configuration and bonding to predict the reactions that will take place.  Students will construct models of reactions, categorize reactions, and support their answers.  Students will name the molecules within the responses. Students will learn to hypothesize and investigate using the scientific method.  This will be used throughout this unit's labs and the entire year.  Students will learn to critically analyze the data from labs and apply the chemical concepts to the data and results of the labs. Students will investigate real-world chemistry issues and their importance. 

Unit 2: Chemical Bonding & Reactions
In this unit, students will understand chemical formulas and compounds, chemical names and formulas, oxidation numbers, using, determining, and describing chemical formulas, equations, and reactions.  Students will understand and use the knowledge of types of chemical reactions, activity series of the elements, Stoichiometry, ideal stoichiometric calculations, limiting reactants, and percentage yields.  Students will define and predict chemical equations and hypothesize and analyze those equations in a lab setting.  Students will apply knowledge of electron configuration and bonding to predict the reactions that will take place.  Students will construct models of reactions, categorize reactions, and support their answers.  Students will name the molecules within the responses.  Students will apply stoichiometry to determine limiting reactants and percent yields for laboratory and hypothetical reactions.  Students will justify their answers through calculations.


Spring Semester

Unit 3: Matter, Energy, and Equilibrium

​​In this unit, students will understand reaction energy, thermochemistry, the driving force of reactions, reaction kinetics, the reaction process, reaction rates, the nature of chemical equilibrium, shifting equilibrium, equilibria of acids, bases, and salts, and solubility equilibrium.  Students will apply previous knowledge from Unit 3 about reactions and Unit 5 knowledge of acids and bases to predict and explain the reaction chemistry and equilibrium of acids and bases and other chemical reactions.  Students will model shifting equilibrium and explain the factors influencing equilibrium.  Students will interpret graphs of reaction energy and use that data to predict where each reaction will reach equilibrium.  Students will demonstrate the driving force of reactions and reaction kinetics in laboratory and hypothetical reactions.  Students will create a battery and fuel cell and explain how salts react using the electrons to produce energy. Students will critically think about how reaction chemistry can be applied to our world's need for green energy and potential future changes to the energy industry.   

​Unit 4:  Organic and Nuclear Chemistry

In this unit, students will understand Oxidation-Reduction reactions, balancing Redox equations, oxidizing and reducing agents, electrochemistry, Voltaic Cells, Electrolytic Cells, Nuclear Chemistry, the nucleus, radioactive decay, nuclear radiation, nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion. Students will complete and predict the results of redox reactions in both laboratory and hypothetical reactions.  Students will balance equations and justify their results.  Students will create voltaic cells and explain how those cells work.  Students will formulate opinions about how nuclear decay is related to the carbon cycle and dating.  Students will use atomic structure and decay knowledge to explain and predict half-life and write half-life equations.  Students will present current findings of nuclear chemistry. In this unit, students will also understand Organic Chemistry, organic compounds, hydrocarbons, functional groups, organic reactions, Biological Chemistry, carbohydrates and lipids, amino acids and proteins, metabolism, and nucleic acids.  Students will apply knowledge of bonding and reactions from units 2 and 3 and previous knowledge to this unit on Organic Chemistry.  Students will draw and model organic compounds and explain the rationale for the shape and bonding.  Students will explain why lipids and carbohydrates form chains and how those chains are used in living structures.  Students will recognize functional groups within a greater whole and determine properties of the larger whole due to those functional groups.  Students will apply biological and organic chemistry knowledge to the human body and other living systems.

​Unit 5: Final Project

Final Project on Ocean acidification and Salinity


Students have the option of taking this course as an honors course. An Honors Course will better prepare students for Chemistry in College. Contact Malika Bell with questions about the Honors option.