Chemistry 121


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Welcome to Chemistry 121.


Course Catalog Description

CHEMISTRY 073 0121 - Basic Chemistry I

Principles of general inorganic chemistry, including properties of matter, dimensional analysis, fundamentals of stoichiometry, interpretation of the periodic table, nomenclature and introduction to solution chemistry and commonly used concentration units. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course. Prerequisites: Eligibility for Mathematics 118 or higher. 2 lecture hours and 4 lab hours per week based on sixteen weeks. Credit Hours: 4

Students the Course is Expected to Serve

Chemistry 121 is designed mainly for students who have not had high school chemistry in the last few years and who do not have the necessary mathematics preparation or familiarity with the periodic table to take Chemistry 201 - General Chemistry I. Students who plan to apply for the Associate Degree Nursing Program and student who wish to improve their science background compose the majority of students in this course. It also counts as 4 credit hours of laboratory science in the physical sciences when applied towards the science requirement in the general education core.

Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI)

Note: Chemistry 121 has an IAI code of P1 902L. You can learn more about IAI by visiting iTransfer.


Joy WalkerProf J. Walker
Department Chair, Physical Science and Engineering
Office: 3826B (Inside the Physical Science and Mathematics Departmental Office)
Phone: (773) 907-4698

Office Hours: M-Th: 1:00 to 2:00

I've been teaching at Truman College in Uptown, Chicago since 1982. Around the year 2000 I spent six years in administration, a valuable experience but ultimately not the path I wanted to follow. During the time that I was in administration I continued to teach courses in web development. I then returned to my first love - physical sciences.

I have a Master's Degree in Chemistry from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne. I am self-taught in programming and web development. I speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and some German. I am working on learning Arabic. My interests include: Chemistry, Cooking, Education, Foreign Languages, Physical Sciences (all of them!) Urban Gardening and Web Development (Visual Display of Information).

My experience has taught me that the ways students learn best depend on many factors. It is my opinion that a teacher must find the best approach for each individual. I've found that a high-tech, high-touch approach is very effective. Various technologies are a great tools for learning but virtual reality is no substitute for tactile, hands-on learning that occurs when we make something for ourselves or experience the world through the visceral senses of smell and touch. My approach requires laboratory notebooks or journals in my classes. I love to involve students in classroom demonstrations. I think laboratory work is extremely important in science. What I recommend for every student is to remember what it felt like to have the curiosity of a child - and find that curiosity again! The world is truly amazing.

I believe we are reaching a very important crossroads in the evolution of our species and a knowledge of the physical sciences will be essential. We face serious challenges that are global in scope. We must learn to work together as humans for the greater good of our planet and humankind. What could be more important than understanding the nature of matter itself - what we all clearly have in common!

Required Course Materials


bookcoverIntroductory Chemistry 4th. Ed. by Nivaldo J. Tro

Laboratory Notebook

laboratory notebook

No specific brand is required but the pages MUST BE BOUND. Spiral notebooks may NOT be used. I prefer quad rule pages (graph paper) but any kind of pages are fine - blank, lined etc. It is important to have a firmly bound book for keeping a permanent record of laboratory observations, data, summaries, analyses and reflections. The laboratory notebook should not have perforated pages that can be removed. View Sample Pages

Note: There is no laboratory textbook to purchase for this class but you will need to print laboratory assignments from the Internet.


You will need a calculator and should bring it with you to every class. It should be able to use scientific notation.

Favorite Molecule


Caffeine has the molecular formula C8H10N4O2 and acts as a stimulant in humans. It is found in many beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks. The name comes from the Italian term for coffee, caffè. Read what Wikipedia has to say about caffeine.


Truman College Mission Statement

"Our Mission dedicates us to deliver high-quality, innovative, affordable and accessible educational opportunities and services that prepare students for a rapidly changing and diverse global economy."


FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records: Faculty cannot reveal information about students, or discuss student records over the phone or unsecure e-mail. CCC student e-mail meets FERPA requirements.

Student Services

The Student Services Department provides a broad range of services to assist students in achieving their academic and life goals.

Students with Disabilities

The Truman College Disability Access Center (DAC) verifies needs pursuant to the American Disabilities Act (ADA), determines student academic accommodations, and issues accommodation letters. Phone number: (773) 907-4725. The DAC is located in Room 1435, Main Bldg.

Tutoring Center

The tutoring center is located in room 177, Larry McKeon Student Services Building, (773) 907-4785 or (773) 907-4790.

TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO is for low-income students, first generation college students, or students with disabilities who need academic support: (773) 907-4797, Room 1435, Main Bldg. Registration is required at the start of each semester.

Student Success and Leadership Institute (SSLI)

SSLI is for students who need various other support services to achieve their educational goals: (773) 907-4737, Room 1435, Main Bldg.

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center provides a variety of services at no cost for students including counseling, crisis intervention, support groups and more. (773) 907-4786, Room 1946, Main Bldg.