CH301 Chemistry & Society

for S1F 2005

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COURSE TITLE: Chemistry and Society

Spring 2004

INSTRUCTOR: Mr. Jack L Espinal

Home Phone: 703 534-7484

Work Phone: 703 607 7864

Web Page:


TERM DATES: 10 January – 13 March 2005

MEETING TIME: Mondays 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

LOCATION: Ft Belvoir




MISSION: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community. 

VISION: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


I.           COURSE DESCRIPTION: The history and nature of the science of chemistry with emphasis upon is role as a human activity and its relationship to humanity. Open to all junior and senior level students.


II.         EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: I believe that learning is a human experience where students learn best form interaction with the instructor, each other, and the world around them. My classes will use demonstrations, lab experiments both in the classroom and at home, class/group assignments; problem solving, discussions of readings, oral reports/presentations; field trips, films, slide shows, readings, videos, quizzes, dialogues, presentations, examinations, the internet, videos, web sites, and group interactions.


III.      GOALS OF THE COURSE: This course presents basic principles of Chemistry as they relate to everyday experiences. It will help prepare you to make decisions about important environmental, social, and ethical issues that face our society and our small planet. You will learn to use the scientific method in gathering information needed to make those decisions and perform simple experiments that demonstrate principles covered in class. You will learn basic chemical terminology, concepts, and solve simple problems related to the discipline of Chemistry.


IV.       LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Park University continues to strive toward its goals / heritage of educating the total person so that he/she may function effectively as individuals and as members of his/her chosen profession, and in the local, national, and world community. To that end the following literacies are stressed in this course.


Science Literacy

1. Understanding of the nature and role of scientific evidence in the pursuit of knowledge.

2. Recognition of the importance of the scientific method of argument and modeling process.

3. Appreciation of the origins of scientific inquiry and method and seeing their continuing presence in the mutual interaction between human society and its physical environment.

4. Acquisition of tools for successful involvement in scientific pursuits of the scientific community.

Critical Literacy

1. Understanding and mastery of the basic skills in communication, computing, and information management.

2. Recognition of the diversity in the processes and methods of critical thinking and problem-solving, and recognition of standards of excellence.

3. Appreciation of the history and variety of approaches for examining and using information, and their technological applications in contemporary life.

4. Acquisition of tools for gathering, retrieving, evaluating, and communicating information and data for various purposes. These tools should include the basic skills in writing, speaking, listening, computing and the use of computers, and problem solving.

Civic Literacy

1. Recognition of the existence of diverse alternative systems and their necessary global relationships.

2. Acquisition of tools for responsible citizenship involvement and for participation in economic and social endeavors.

Values Literacy

1. Understanding of the importance of value concerns in human life, and the ability to distinguish them from factual matters.

2. Recognition of the major ways proposed for resolving value questions, and the ability to evaluate them and use them where appropriate.


V.         TXTEBOOK: Schwartz, Truman A. Chemistry In Context, Fourth Edition. WCB/McGraw-Hill, 2003.



The course web page:

Ebbing, Darrell D. Introductory Chemistry Houghton Miffin Company 1995

Partington, James. A Short History of Chemistry. Dover Publications 1989

Salzberg. From Caveman to Chemist. American Chemical Society 1991


The Periodic Table

Internet Chemical Resources


VII.    ACADEMIC HONESTY: Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.

Definitions : Academic dishonesty includes committing or the attempt to commit cheating, plagiarism, falsifying academic records, and other acts intentionally designed to provide unfair advantage to the student.

• Cheating includes, but not limited to, intentionally giving or receiving unauthorized aid or notes on examinations, papers, laboratory reports, exercises, projects, or class assignments which are intended to be individually completed. Cheating also includes the unauthorized copying of tests or any other deceit or fraud related to the student’s academic conduct.

• Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another’s idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing.

Falsifying academic records includes, but not limited to, altering grades or other academic records.

• Other acts include:

o Stealing, manipulating, or interfering with an academic work of another student or faculty member

o Collusion with other students on work to be completed by one student

o Lying to or deceiving a faculty member.


VIII.  ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for aring will become a part of the hearing file. The hearing file will be submitted to the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs within five business days. Upon receipt, the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs will scan the appropriate documentation. cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.


IX.      LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIAL: Late assignments will be accepted only with prior approval. Otherwise, students will receive a score of zero.


X.         CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT: Class participation is expected and will form a part of the final grade. Students are expected to come to all classes and be on time. Roll will be checked each class meeting. Students are required to read all assigned material prior to class. Classes missed for legitimate reasons, such as illness, temporary duty, are excusable; however, the student must make up the missed work as follows: written chapter problem solutions/comments must be turned in by e-mail prior the missed class session. Written solutions to problems and discussion subjects covered in class will be prepared and presented to the instructor at an agreed upon date and an additional ten chapter questions will be completed. (a partial failing grade for class participation will be assessed for un-excused absences). Video tapes shown in class and associated study guides cannot be made up. Students missing class will receive zeros for these assignments. The course web page - - contains electronic copies of many of the exercises and practice sets used in class. Browse the web page to see what is there.


XI.      DISABILITY GUIDELINES:  Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: 









Prepare for Class


Class Activities





January 12, 2005


Chemistry in Context, Chapter 1


Exercises 2,8, 9, 15, 16,


Composition of Materials

The Skeptical Chemist




January 19, 2005


Chemistry in Context, Chapter 1


Exercises 17, 18, 19, 21, 31, 32, 34


The Air We Breathe

The Periodic Table





January 26, 2005


Chemistry in Context,

Chapter 2


Exercises 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 34


Protecting the Ozone Layer

The Skeptical Chemist Report


Topics Due



February 2, 2005


Chemistry in Context,

Chapter 3


Exercises 2, 6, 15, 18, 21


Chemistry of Global Warming





February 9, 2005


Chemistry in Context,

Chapter 4


Exercises 1,4, 5, 6, 9, 14


Energy, Chemistry & Society, Skeptical Chemist


Mid Term



February 12, 2005


Chemistry in Context,

Chapter 5 (197-214)


Exercises 3, 4, 9


Smithsonian Field Trip


No Class on March 9, 2005



February 16, 2005


Chemistry in Context,

Chapter 5 (215-239)


Exercises 16, 17, 19, 21


The Wonder of Water

The Skeptical Chemist

Report Presentations





February 23, 2005


Chemistry in Context,

Chapter 6


Exercises 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 30, 40


Neutralizing the Threat of Acid Rain Skeptical Chemist

Report Presentations





March 2, 2005


Chemistry in Context,

Chapter 7


Exercises 1, 3, 4, 31


The Fires of Nuclear Fission

Report Presentations


Final Examination



March 9, 2005


No Class - Field Trip





XIV. GRADING PLAN: Grades will be based upon the following assignments and activities:







Class Participation


5 points per session


Reading, Problem Sets, Take home Labs (About 12)


10 points each


Quizzes & Video Guides (About 10)


10 points each


Research Project / Presentation


50 points


Smithsonian Field Trip & Presentation


20 points


Midterm Examination


100 points


Final Examination


150 points


Note: Students must have at least a passing grade for each of the above areas to receive a passing grade for the course.


Letter Grades for the course will be calculated as follows:























Below 60 or 3 un-excused absences





XV. MAKING UP A MISSED FINAL EXAM: Only extraordinary circumstances warrant a student's being allowed to make up a missed final examination. It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor before the scheduled exam or by the end of the first working day after the day of the missed exam to request permission to take a make-up exam. In the process of determining whether a make-up exam should be allowed, the burden of proof is on the student. The instructor has the right to request verification of any excuse offered by the student.


The student who is denied permission to take a make-up exam may appeal immediately to the Academic Director or Resident Center Administrator. The appeal must be made by the end of the first working day after the day of the denial. The appeal will be forwarded immediately to the Assistant Vice President for Extended Learning whose decision will be final.