### Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

General Chemistry 201 with Professor Hecht will encourage critical thinking. Throughout this course you will be expected to learn the concepts behind atoms, molecules, ions, stoichiometry, gases, equilibrium, enthalpy, energy, entropy, quantum mechanics, atomic theory, and bonding. Many of the concepts learned in class and on p-sets will be used in the labs as well. Every student will have individual lab times and are expected to follow the protocols given in the lab manual. Each student is expected to write the steps of each lab before their designated lab time. Ultimately, taking what you learn from lab, p-sets, and class will be helpful in studying for exams. You will be analyzing these topics in chemistry at a micro level but they are ultimately a part of the macro components of Chemistry. For example, when we analyze ice floating in water, we can see that the hydrogen bonds in the ice form a crystal where they are are further apart from each other. However, liquid water has its hydrogen bonds more closely together. This is the micro level of chemistry where we analyze what is happening to the system based on its atoms and molecules. The macro level of this same system of water and ice is the fact that liquid water is denser than ice. Keeping these concepts in mind will help you with understanding the larger picture behind p-sets, readings, and labs.

Expectations

It is expected that you should always read the textbook chapters before your lecture. This is important to keep in mind because lectures are only so long and can’t go into the nitty-gritty details like the textbook. However, since it is assumed that you have read the book, this nitty-gritty material is fair game for the P-sets and exams.

Strategies:

How to Take Notes from the Chemistry Textbook:

- Jot down the main concepts and a brief explanation of each one.
- Try to work out one of the example problems for each section by yourself. Every once in awhile they will present you an example of a problem for a given topic and then the answer. Instead of looking at it simply as an example, write it in your notes and work it out yourself before checking to see if you were right or wrong.
- Look at the review section at the back of the chapter (this is all highlighted in blue right before the questions for that chapter) and compare them to your notes to make sure that you’ve covered everything you were supposed to review.

In terms of studying efficiently, try to review the material by yourself first and then come together with a group of your peers to see their method of thinking about concepts. McGraw study halls are a good place to do this, however, even if you find that you have no time to make it to these sessions it will benefit you to try and gather a group of people who you can meet with outside of glass in general. Lastly, remember to keep your notes organized. This will allow you to retrieve information and prevent extra stress from lost or unorganized notes. Chemistry moves quickly, ergo your class notes and personal notes need to be organized so you can keep up with the pace of the class.

### Learning From Classroom Instruction

The textbook is very thorough but chapters can be on average 50 pages long. Do readings a little by little for homework everyday for the appointed lecture. Ideally read the majority of the chapter before lecture. DO NOT LEAVE READINGS A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE EXAM. This is one of our biggest regrets in taking this course. You can get the most out of lecture by doing the readings. Honestly, you need to have some idea of what’s going on; it will help make recognition of concepts easier and engaging. To engage yourself, take notes for each section of the Chemistry course.

Also, going to the study session hosted by the McGraw Center (in Frist) is very, very helpful. Being surrounded by people working on the same material can be very helpful when completing/checking p-sets and reviewing concepts. /

How to Stay Engaged in Lecture:

- -Do not overly focus on taking every single note from the power point (if Prof. Hecht still uses power points) because it will be online. Paying attention to what he says is more important because you will not have access to this before an exam.
- -It will be more beneficial to ask questions in precept or in office hours because there is a lot of material to cover in lecture and you can have a more one-on-one experience to get more detailed information.
- -When you have questions, ideally ask the professor how what you are exposed to in p-sets and textbook information connects.
- -Demonstrations: Pay attention to the main concepts in the demos. Try to connect them with what you learned from the past week. You should be able to explain what is going on. Use these demos as a study tool since they are real life applications of the problems sets and concepts you are exposed to.

We recommend taking notes on the demos. Your attention is vital in recalling the demos that were done in class. Briefly sketch and label aspects of the demo. This will allow reading demo descriptions found on Blackboard to be easier, since they do not have images or detailed information. For instance, you may see these in-class experiments as a time to blow things up, but please know *WHY* the components are blowing up. Lastly, when studying for exams try to connect the concepts from the demos to the concepts and calculations found in practice problems and key terms in the textbook.

### Learning For and From Assignments

P-Sets

Think of how you can complicate the p-set more, and how you would go about solving. Work through the problem on your own first and then work in groups. Struggle through the problems; Chemistry is not meant to be easy so do not feel discouraged when you have trouble solving the problem. Do not rush through p-sets and don’t just look for the right answer. See an answer and know why an answer is right; additionally, know why an answer is wrong. This knew knowledge will come through collaboration with other classmates and their findings from notes and p-sets. Also try to expose yourself to different ways that you can solve a problem.

Step by Step Thinking for Solving a P-set Problem:

Step 1: Look at your problem. (Think of eagle-eyes). Identify which category and what subcategory it falls under. i.e. When you look at the problem you may think of: “It looks like the gas law.” So write down PV=nRT as the bare minimum. Sometimes equations are connected and encompass multiple ideas so having each one written down is important. Step 2: Look at the conditions (i.e. STP) and notice how this impacts the equations you can or cannot use. Step 3: Really struggle through the problem. Don’t ask for help immediately. No matter how much you want to just look it up or ask someone else, please give yourself a good amount of time to really burst your brain on it because who knows you might have an AHAH moment. Step 4: Ask yourself: “How could he (as in Professor Hecht) complicate this question further?” Then talk your way through how you would solve the more complex version. Step 5: Share what you’ve found with your peers because they are also a valuable resource and may have another method/thought process the same problem.

How to Study for Exams:

Please complete challenge problems at the end of the chapter. They will serve as ways to complicate the simple concepts found in the book. They often combine conceptual ideas and numerous calculations. They involve multiple steps, and the skills gained from this practice will help with exam problems. Practice makes perfect so if takes a long time initially to solve a problem know that you will become faster and more efficient with these problems. That’s why it’s especially important to do as many questions as possible. This will allow you to recognize a certain kind of problem on a p-set or on an exam. Please go to McGraw individual tutoring and study hall earlier in the week if you feel you need help studying. This prevents cramming in homework, and allows for more time to learn and work independently or study with others.

Step by Step Thinking for Solving an Exam Problem:

- Usually, the exam headings will tell you what concepts the question is testing (i.e the heading of a problem might be Stoichiometry or Thermodynamics), so look at the headings to figure out what concepts come into play.
- List out your knowns and unknowns.
- Use the given equation sheet to try to find the equations that you need. You will often need to use multiple equations to try to solve the problems. Also please memorize the equations that will not be listed on the equation sheet. (Professor Hecht will provide the equation sheet about a week before the exam).
- Once you know the equations you need, figure out which unknown needs to be solved first so you can plug them into the next equation to find another unknown. Keep going through this process until you find all of the unknowns.
- Additionally, sometimes it's helpful to algebraically manipulate a problem to make an unknown variable equal to the known variables or easily solvable variables. For example, if you need to find volume for an ideal gas, you know that you need to use PV=nRT. To manipulate this equation and have it equal to V (volume), you can divide the right and left side of the equation by P (pressure). This will give you V=nRT/P. You now have the proper equation to solve for the unknown V. Now plug in the knowns to solve for V as your answer.
- If the problem is more elaborate and you feel that you would confuse yourself manipulating the various equations for one problem, try to work with each variable in the equation separately. For example, in PV=nRT, find P, V, n (moles of gas), R (gas constant), and T (temperature) separately (depending on what information they give you) and plug these values back into PV=nRT to solve for the unknown.
- Sometimes these solved unknowns might be your final answer but sometimes you may have to work with these unknowns and plug them into a whole new equation to find the answer.
- Make sure to circle every answer on the exam otherwise you may get points taken off.
- Make sure to write your name on each page of your exam, otherwise pages of your exam without your name will be unidentifiable and you will lose points.
- These equations are very long but make sure you stick with them to the end. It is very easy to get tired of a problem and make careless mistakes.

Labs and Lab Report:

Lab is something that you will be fine with if you always read through the pre-lab thoroughly. Never ever attempt to wing it (as RPL will constantly remind you). TA’s also write out explicitly where you have made mistakes within your lab reports as well as how to fix it; if you are still confused about the lab, contact your TA as soon as possible. All in all, the lab environment is not overly stressful if you listen to instructions, and you will have access to a lot of helpful resources. A particularly good resource is the special websites Princeton has created for each individual lab. They can be found on Blackboard under the Labs tab and in the experiments folder. So use your resources and do your pre-lab; hopefully with these lab will be an enjoyable time!

### External Resources

A possible website to help with studying and p-sets is KMTchemistry.com. It is good for getting a series of questions and it is helpful in gauging your general understanding. It breaks down categories so you can see what type of of problems fall under a particular topic.

### What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

If you’re not already a Pre-med student, you may notice that many of your peers most certainly are. If you are one of those students, be sure to keep in mind that you will be in a very high pressure environment (no pun intended). A lot of students will be focused on getting high grades for Med-school purposes so remember even though it is labeled as an introductory course and you may be the type of student who wants to take it to gauge their interest at the end of the day, it may not seem like such an introductory level class. However, please don’t let this discourage you from taking the class if you have an interest in taking Chemistry as a pre-med student or a non-pre-med student.

Also keep in mind that although it is noted that chemistry in high school is not necessary, the curriculum is still such that it somewhat assumes that you have taken some sort of Chemistry before. If you are a student who has not, keep this in mind as well. If you haven’t taken calculus, attempt to get familiar with it; many of the formulas which will be used can be better understood with a background in derivatives and other important calculus concepts.