CH-110: Chemistry and the Environment

Course Information

Course, prefix, number, & title: CH-110 Chemistry and the Environment

Hours (Class, recitation, Laboratory, studio): 3 class hours

Credits: 3

Pre-requisites (if any): None

Co-requisites (if any): CH-111

Course Description in college catalog:

This writing intensive course examines the role of chemistry in current environmental topics of interest to all citizens. Topics covered include: Green Chemistry, Acid Rain, Destruction of Ozone layer, Greenhouse effect and Global Warming, Traditional and Alternative Energy sources, Air, Water and Land Pollution sources, effects, detection and control/prevention. There is great emphasis on the importance of practicing green chemistry in order to achieve a sustainable civilization.

Academic programs for which this course serves as a requirement or an elective:

A.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences (non-science concentration) and other non-science majors as a laboratory science elective.

A.S. Environmental Science (advised major elective)

General Education Outcomes: Below is a listing of General Education Outcome(s) that this course supports.

  1. Communicate effectively in various forms

  2. Use analytical reasoning to identify issues or problems and evaluate evidence in order to make informed decisions

Course-specific student learning outcomes:

  • Students will develop an understanding of the theoretical and descriptive concepts that form the basis of general chemistry with an emphasis on its relevance to everyday life and its impact on the environment.
  • Students will use the scientific method to explore physical and chemical properties of matter through the development of hypotheses, observation, experimentation, measurement, and analysis and presentation of results. They will learn to evaluate evidence experienced or observed in everyday life (particularly as it relates to the environment) and understand how they support scientific theories.
  • Students will collaborate in groups of two or more to perform experiments to learn and apply fundamental concepts and techniques of chemistry as applicable to environmental science.
  • Students will collect, interpret and evaluate scientific data by performing experiments, reading scientific literature such as articles from current issues of the American Chemical Society’s Chemical and Engineering News magazines, conducting research on the internet and watching documentaries, on science related topics. They will participate in class discussions and submit written reports containing arguments based on evidence to support their conclusions. Written reports and papers will be done both in class and as take home assignments.
  • Students will learn to practice and expect unbiased gathering and presentation of scientific data in reports and papers. Students will understand the importance of upholding ethics in investigations and be able to identify violations of research ethics.

Methods by which student learning will be assessed and evaluated; describe the types of methods to be employed; note whether certain methods are required for all sections:

The overall course grade will be computed using the following general distribution:

  • Attendance and class participation – 5%
  • In class examinations / quizzes – 30% NOTE: there will be no make-up examinations.
  • Writing assignments – 35% (10%: Low stake assignments (graded based on participation not for content or English). Assignments must be submitted on time during the semester for credit. In class writing of about one paragraph may also be required), (25%: High stake assignments (approximately 12 typed double spaced individually written laboratory reports). These assignments will consist of six laboratory reports. Each report must contain approximately two typed pages of objective, theory, experimental procedure, results and conclusion of each laboratory experiment. The first draft of each report will be due one week after the experiment is performed. The corrected draft will be due two weeks after the experiment. These assignments may include additional mandatory revisions and mandatory assistance from the writing center in L 118. Each draft must be submitted on time for credit. The detailed information about the requirements, format, number of revisions, time-frame and grading of these assignments will be provided by the instructor using the additional hand-outs).
  • Cumulative final examination – 30%

Students need to achieve a passing grade in each of the above categories in order to pass the course. This grade distribution may be changed at the discretion of the individual instructor.

Academic Integrity policy (department or College):
Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any violation of academic integrity is taken extremely seriously. All assignments and projects must be the original work of the student or teammates. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any questions regarding academic integrity should be brought to the attention of the instructor. The following is the Queensborough Community College Policy on Academic Integrity: "It is the official policy of the College that all acts or attempted acts that are violations of Academic Integrity be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. At the faculty member's discretion and with the concurrence of the student or students involved, some cases though reported to the Office of Student Affairs may be resolved within the confines of the course and department. The instructor has the authority to adjust the offender's grade as deemed appropriate, including assigning an F to the assignment or exercise or, in more serious cases, an F to the student for the entire course." Read the University's policy on Academic Integrity opens in a new window(PDF).

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based upon the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services in Science Building, Room S-132, 718-631-6257, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You can visit the Office of Accessibility Services website.

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