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CHEM 100 Chemical Explorations • 5 Cr.




Presents basic concepts of chemistry using a relatively non-mathematical approach. Topics include measurement, atomic and molecular structure, the periodic table, chemical vs. physical changes, acids and bases, and the social and environmental role of chemistry. Same as CHEM& 110. Only one of the two (CHEM 100 or CHEM&110) may be taken for credit.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Chemical Terms
    • Define chemistry and identify its major subfields
    • Distinguish between matter and energy
    • List and describe the key elements of the scientific method
    • State the differences between laws and theories
  • Measurements
    • Recognize and use prefixes in metric measurements
    • Apply density as a way to relate the volume to the mass of a substance
  • Chemical Elements and the Periodic Table
    • Describe the general structure of the atom
    • Identify the subatomic particles which make up the atom
    • Define atomic number and isotope; identify the number of electrons, protons, and neutrons in a specific atom
    • Distinguish mass number from atomic weight
    • Extract information about an element from the periodic table: for example; the symbol, atomic number, atomic weight, and the number of protons and electrons
    • Explain the differences between elements, compounds, and homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures
    • Describe the difference between chemical and physical properties/changes
  • The Chemical Equation
    • Explain the concept of the mole
    • Compute molar masses of elements and compounds
    • Distinguish between empirical and molecular formulas
    • Balance simple chemical equations
    • Interpret the information conveyed by a balanced chemical equation
    • Show knowledge of the role of chemical reactions in their lives using examples such as acid rain, photosynthesis, industrial synthesis, pharmaceuticals, etc.
  • Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table
    • Explain the historical development of atomic theory
    • Identify some of the scientists who contributed to our model of the atom.
    • Describe the role of spectroscopy in the development of atomic theory
    • Compare and contrast the Bohr model with the modern atomic model
    • State the relationship between the atomic structure of an element and its position in the periodic table.
    • Describe the historical development of the periodic table
    • Identify the location of groups and periods, metals and nonmetals
  • Chemical Bonds
    • Explain that every substance and system, living or inanimate, is chemical
    • Conclude that a given substance has the same structure whether it occurs naturally or is made synthetically
    • Describe briefly the differences between molecular, ionic, and metallic substances, including acids, bases and organic molecules
  • States of Matter
  • Describe the characteristics of a solid, a liquid and a gas in terms of visible properties and the kinetic-molecular theory of matter.
  • Apply knowledge of states of matter to current issues such as air and water pollution.
  • Application to current issues
    • Synthesize course information and apply it to practical, everyday issues such as acid rain, air and water pollution, limited resources on Planet Earth, etc.
    • Develop informed opinions on chemical mattters affecting society by applying critical thinking skills to evaluate public issues and current events involving chemistry.
    • Identify and use key reference materials in libraries and on the Internet to research a topic related to chemistry.
    • Analyze data by distinguishing between opinions, interpretations and solid evidence



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Contact info

Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000