Chemistry Counts!

Winter 2021
Class Size: 23
50% Reserved for Freshmen
Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

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Taught by

physical chemistry
Vauhn Foster-Grahler
mathematics, education, anthropological mathematics

This program will explore topics in chemistry and mathematics at the introductory college level. It is designed for students who are eager to gain an understanding of these fields so they can pursue further studies in the sciences. It is also designed for those who are seeking to broaden their liberal arts education by exploring the sciences. Collaborative learning via synchronous Zoom sessions and context-based problem solving will be expected and emphasized. Program activities will include lectures, workshops, and computer laboratory work.

All class meetings will be on-line and synchronous via Zoom (about twelve synchronous hours per week) and all students must have access to the internet and a device that enables them to join the Zoom class meetings. A computer is better than a phone for this purpose. Zoom log in access to program activities will be provided via the program Canvas site for registered students.

Access to Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) is required and available free of charge from the college. A free scanning App such as ‘camscan’ or ‘tapscan’ is required for submitting homework. Students must be able to read pdf files (download the free pdf Reader). The ability to use the white-board in Zoom with a stylus or a pen-enabled tablet is very useful. If not, please acquire a dry-erase board and markers.

We will begin the study of introductory chemistry by exploring the structure of the atom, the nature of the chemical bond, and proceed towards an understanding of molecular geometry. This will lead us to discussions of the periodic table, chemical reactions, mole concepts, and stoichiometry. In chemistry workshops, students will work in small groups to solve problems that further their understanding of the topics covered in lectures. Students will develop skills in using the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software via multiple computer workshops that will explore graphing and data analysis with this software.

In the mathematics workshops we will study some of the mathematics of science including scientific notation and unit conversions. In addition, students will work with linear, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic functions. These functions will be approached algebraically, numerically, symbolically, and verbally. A graphing calculator is strongly recommended.

Anticipated Credit Equivalencies (14 credits total):
• 8 credits - Introductory Chemistry with computer laboratory
• 6 credits - Algebraic Thinking for Science

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

general chemistry, environmental sciences, education, and natural sciences


Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

Variable Credit Options:

Students can register for 6 or 8 credits with faculty permission

  • 8 credits - Introductory chemistry with Excel laboratory
  • 6 credits - algebraic thinking for science

If students are opting for the 8 credits (Introductory chemistry with Excel laboratory) option, they must demonstrate competency in college level algebra. 

Online learning:
  • Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
Special expenses:

It is highly recommended to have a graphing calculator. If you do not already own one, this can cost around $100. 


$20 for required chemistry materials

Class Standing: Freshman–Sophomore
Class Size: 23
50% Reserved for Freshmen

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 9:30 am

Located in: Olympia

2020-10-30Student fee increased to $20 (was $15)
2020-10-30Program is now 14 credits (was 16 credits)