Chemistry Counts!

Winter 2021
Class Size: 23
50% Reserved for Freshmen
Credits per quarter

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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 and context-based problem solving will be expected and emphasized. Program activities will include lectures, workshops, and laboratory experiments.

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 the laboratory we will develop bench skills and lab techniques. In particular we will focus on measurements, preparing solutions, titrations, and spectroscopy while learning how to use spreadsheet software for data collection and analysis. In chemistry workshops, students will work in small groups to solve problems that further their understanding of the topics covered in lectures. 

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.

In addition, first-year students will participate in Greener Foundations and sophomore students will participate in faculty-guided enrichment opportunities in science and mathematics, including community-based learning.

Greener Foundations:  This program will incorporate Greener Foundations, a holistic course designed for first-time, first-year students. Faculty and staff collaborate to bring study skills, academic planning, health and wellness education, advising, and more into the classroom. More information can be found on the college website at Greener Foundations .


Anticipated Credit Equivalencies:

8 credits - Introductory Chemistry with lab

6 credits - Algebraic Thinking for Science

2 credits - Greener Foundations or Faculty-guided enrichment opportunity

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

general chemistry, environmental sciences, education, and natural sciences


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Special expenses:

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


$15 for required course 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 - 9:00 am
Purce Hall 6 - Classroom

Located in: Olympia