Chemistry Counts!

Fall 2020
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 via synchronous Zoom sessions and context-based problem solving will be expected and emphasized. Program activities will include lectures, workshops, and computer laboratory work. 

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 Microsoft Excel skills that are used in analyzing experimental data, including graphing and regression analysis. Students will work in small groups (remotely) to solve chemistry 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.

To successfully participate in this program, students will need a laptop with Microsoft Office software (Excel is specially needed), Zoom access, an ability to read PDF files, graphing calculator, and specified textbooks. Students can expect our remote teaching to be around 16 hours of synchronous (scheduled) coursework per week, using Zoom and Canvas. Students will have access to alternatives to synchronous (in person or remote) participation if conditions require.

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 .


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

general chemistry, environmental sciences, education, and natural sciences


Credits per quarter

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. 


$15 for required course materials

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

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 9:30 am

Located in: Olympia

2020-08-05This program is now fully remote
2020-07-13This program is now open to all level (was Fr-So)