March 30, 2011           ACS Study Guides for the final exam can be purchased from the GMU Chemistry Club......                       

***** Lab waivers must be on file in the Chemistry Department by Thursday, February 3, 2011.

ARIS First Day of Class link                              

CHEM 211-001 Spring 2011

Lecture:  Tu,R  9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Lecture Hall -1

Dr. Gerald L. R. Weatherspoon

Office Hours: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Tu,R 

Science & Tech-1, Rm. 343 


REQUIRED BOOK FOR LECTURE COURSE:   Chemistry:  The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change, 5th edition (2009); Silberberg; McGraw-Hill publishers.

General Remarks:   Cell phones, pagers, iPods, communication devices, etc. should be turned off BEFORE class begins.   Failure to do so will result in your removal from the classroom.

General Remarks:  

This is the first of a two semester chemistry course for science majors designed to help students learn the fundamental principles of some important areas of chemistry.  It is to your advantage to use the many resources available to reinforce the lecture material.  Please feel free to discuss any aspect of the course with me during office hours or during a scheduled appointment. Due to time constraints and duties besides this course, drop-in attempts for office hours and assistance are strongly discouraged. Do not expect to dominate the entire period reserved for office hours and be considerate of others when you do show up for office hours. An additional aid provided by the Chemistry Department is the tutoring center, basement level of S&T-1, which is open during the week and staffed by students who have been successful in the subject matter.  Periodically announcements concerning the tutoring center and all General Chemistry sections will be posted electronically.  Keep in mind that lecture is a learning aid used to clarify concepts and does not control how much you learn---you do.   Your textbook also lists a very useful study aid that may be accessed via the internet.  Positive classroom participation is strongly encouraged.

To maximize your performance in the course requires daily practice and class attendance.  Attendance on the first day of class is critical if you intend to get started on the right track (students not present when the roll is called will be dropped from the class). If you honestly do not have the time or inclination to work at chemistry daily and attend ALL of the scheduled classes, DROP NOW and save the tuition.

Positive classroom participation will be considered during tabulation of final grades, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. Students should come to class prepared to work problems on the board. Paced learning, rather than last minute cramming, will prove beneficial to your performance in the lecture and laboratory portions of this course. "All-night cram sessions" and doing just enough to hopefully get by are the primary reasons for the high "F" rate in chemistry. 

The successful student will make use of the many learning aids available: discussions, study groups and work sessions with fellow students, actively participating in class, working textbook problems. Keep in mind that lecture is a learning aid used to clarify concepts and does not control how much you learn---you do.   Your textbook also lists a very useful study aid that may be accessed via the internet.

Students enrolled in this course must activate their GMU email accounts to receive important University information, including messages related to this class. I will only reply to email received from students using their GMU email accounts.


  1. OFFICE OF DISABILITY SERVICES --- If you are a student with a disability and need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at (703) 993-2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through the ODS. Refer to
  2. WRITING CENTER --- A114 Robinson Hall; (703) 993-1200;
  3. UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES ---"Ask a Librarian";
  5. UNIVERSITY POLICIES --- The University Catalog, , is the central resource for university policies affecting student, faculty, and staff conduct in university affairs.

Departmental seminars are usually held at 4:30 p.m. each Thursday.  Speakers and locations will be posted throughout S&T-1.  Attendance is strongly recommended, especially for chemistry majors.  Chemistry and biochemistry majors should also consider joining the local student affiliate chapter of the ACS (GMU Chemistry Club) as well as ACS.

Important Dates: Spring 2011

Grading :

  • The final grade in this course will be based on a percentage of points earned relative to total possible points. Listed below is the tentative point distribution for examinations, quizzes and the laboratory grade. However, an absolute grading scale cannot be determined until all scores have been compiled and evaluated. In order to optimize your overall performance use the following scale as a rule of thumb, keeping in mind that the scale is subject to change during the course of the semester: 100-90% (A); 89-80% (B); 79-70% (C); <69% (D or F). DO NOT RELY UPON A "CURVE"; MAXIMIZE YOUR OVERALL PERFORMANCE IRRESPECTIVE OF A "CURVE".   The university-wide  undergraduate grading scale will be used.  


Hourly Examinations 


Quizzes & Homework




Final Exam (lecture) 




Hourly exams:

  • A valid GMU ID is required for all exams.  Other forms of ID will not be accepted.   GMU ID cards that do not clearly show the face and identification number will not  be accepted  GMU ID must be presented at the time that the exam scan is turned. Presentation of an ID card once your Scan-Tron form has been turned in and you exit the examination area will not be accepted for the exam(s).

  • Students are responsible for providing their own calculators, pencils, and Scan-Tron forms for examinations. You should be very familiar with your calculator prior to exam dates.  PROGRAMMABLE CALCULATORS WILL BE ALLOWED ONLY DURING ANNOUNCED QUIZ and EXAMINATION PERIODS.  CALCULATOR SHARING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED DURING TESTING PERIODS. Small computers are also not allowed during examination periods.  Use of such will be considered an honor code violation and dealt with accordingly. Three exams (oldexam1, oldexam2, oldexam3) and a final cumulative exam will be given during the semester. ACS study guides for the final exam can be purchased from the GMU Chemistry Club. All exam scores will be used in determining the final grade.  Makeup exams will not be given.  It is your responsibility to schedule your plane/train travel around the listed exam dates and times.

  • All cell phones and communications devices are to be turned off, properly secured and stored away BEFORE the exams begin.   If I find (see or hear) a cell phone on a student during an exam, the student will receive an automatic "F" for the course, since this is an honor code violation.   The matter will also be referred to the Honor Committee.  If another student observes the violation it will also be reported to the Honor Committee and result in a grade of "F" for the course.   Any student who has knowledge of, but does not report, a violation may be accused of lying under the Honor Code (or refer to the 2010-2011 GMU Catalog). GMU is an Honor Code university; please see the University Catalog for a full description of the honor committee process. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated g ravely.

  • If you are caught cheating during an exam your exam will be confiscated and you will be asked to leave the room immediately. A grade of "F" will be recorded and the matter referred to the Honor Committee with recommendation of prosecution to the fullest extent.

Final Exam: The final exam is a standardized exam, cumulative in nature, that covers all concepts from the Chem211 semester. ACS study guides can be purchased from the GMU Chemistry Club in Room 343 of Science & Tech-1.

  • PROGRAMMABLE CALCULATORS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR THE FINAL EXAM.   It is your responsibility to secure a basic non-programmable calculator and familiarize yourself with it prior to the final exam period. No exceptions will be made for the final examination.

  • The final examination can only be rescheduled by the COS Assistant Dean.


  • The quizzes will be administered during the semester using ARIS.  The quizzes are not optional/extra credit work and count toward your final grade.  Computer generated and administered quizzes will be taken by logging in to the ARIS program using your ARIS CODE. ARIS codes should be purchased, if you did not purchase one when the textbook was purchased, prior to the first meeting of lecture. Deadlines will be posted on the ARIS site.


  • A passing grade must also be obtained in the laboratory portion of the course.  It is critical that you understand the theory and experimental concepts of the first part of General Chemistry in order to be successful in the second part of the course. All students enrolled in the lecture must take the lab concurrently, since the laboratory score is integrated into the lecture grade.  Failure to do so will automatically result in an "F" for the course.

  • Each student is expected to follow the safety rules and regulations  in order to remain enrolled in the course.
  • Due to the large number of students enrolled in Chem 211, all students officially enrolled in the lab must be present at the start of the lab period throughout the drop period. Late-shows will be dropped from the lab and their slots assigned to a student on the waiting list. You will be dropped from lecture and lab because the courses are linked.
  • Each laboratory instructor will assign a score according to the percentage of total points earned throughout the semester by the student.  It is your responsibility to  work through the example problems provided in the lab manual as well as the practice problems.    

  • Lab grades will be normalized, if necessary, to the common laboratory mean score for all Chem 211 lab sections combined if the individual laboratory section average is ±5% from the combined laboratory mean.  Normalization is performed to ensure equity in lab scores for all students enrolled in Chem 211. 

  • Letter grades ARE NOT ASSIGNED to the laboratory portion of the course. Lab percentages are assigned and the values are incorporated into the grade for the course. All lab course work must be satisfied with the lab instructor prior to the end of the semester. Failure to do so will result in loss of points and a lower percentage for the lab portion of the course. I will not grade lab reports, due to negligence or tardiness on your part, that should have been graded by your lab instructor.
  • Students who completed Chem 211 laboratory in a prior semester, and who scored above the section average, may waive the lab requirement.   Those who previously earned a score below average must retake the entire lab course. Lab waiver forms can be obtained from the Chemistry Department's main office (Rm. 343, S&T-1). The form must be completed and submitted to the Chemistry Department  by February 3, 2011 .


  • The problems at the end of the chapters are provided for your benefit in order to develop critical problem solving skills necessary in this course. Do not quit after working the easier problems. The more challenging problems incorporate several concepts and will better prepare you for quizzes and exams. Selected problems will be worked in class on a "time permitting basis." You should reserve a separate spiral bound notebook for working out the problems and bring the notebook to the instructor’s office hours or the tutors when seeking help. You should be able to demonstrate that you have put forth a reasonable effort toward mastery of the material before seeking help. Do not get discouraged and spend excessive amounts of time on a single problem. Move on to those you can solve and budget your time wisely.

  • Online homework is not optional and will count toward your final grade. Online homework is accessed using ARIS. Deadlines will be posted on ARIS.



REFER TO THE ARIS WEBSITE FOR UPDATED QUIZ AND HOMEWORK DEADLINES. You must have access to ARIS in order to complete the quiz and homework assignments.








Study Groups





Textbook:   Chemistry:  The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change, 5th edition (2009); Silberberg; McGraw-Hill publishers.

"Tentative Lecture Syllabus"


Week of
Text Chapter
Jan. 25
Keys to the Study of Chemistry ; Chemistry & Measurement
Feb. 1
The Components of Matter ; "Atoms, Molecules & Ions"
Feb. 8
Stoichiometry of Formulas and Equations
Feb. 15
Three Major Classes of Chemical Reactions

Feb. 22

Feb. 24

Exam I; Feb. 22  


Coverage: Ch. 1, 2, 3,4

Three Major Classes of Chemical Reactions

Mar. 1
Gases and the Kinetic-Molecular Theory
Mar. 8


Gases and the Kinetic-Molecular Theory

MARCH 14-20
Mar. 22



Thermochemistry: Energy Flow and Chemical Change

Quantum Theory and Atomic Structure

Exam II; Apr. 5 
Coverage: Ch. 4,5,6
Mar. 31
Electron Configuration and Chemical Periodicity
Apr. 5



Electron Configuration cont'd

Models of Chemical Bonding

Apr. 12



Models of Chemical Bonding cont'd

The Shapes of Molecules

Apr. 19
Theories of Covalent Bonding
Exam III; Apr. 26
Coverage: Ch. 7, 8, 9, 10
Apr. 28
Theories of Covalent Bonding
May 3

Intermolecular Forces: Liquids, Solids, and Phase Change

May 5


Last day of lecture

May 9-May 10
Reading Day
May 17

7:30 - 10:15 a.m. ; LECTURE HALL-1;

ACS Comprehensive



Students must enroll and obtain a passing grade in the appropriate Chem 211 laboratory in order to successfully complete and receive a grade in CHEM 211. There are no makeup exams or quizzes in CHEM 211.


1. elementary conversions
2. chemical formulas
3. nomenclature
4. chemical reactions and equations
5. oxidation numbers
6. descriptive chemistry (solubility, acids/bases, etc.)
7. stoichiometry
8. solutions (molarity and stoichiometry)
9. thermochemistry
10. electron configurations and quantum number rules
11. ionic and covalent bonding
12. periodic trends
13. Lewis structures, including resonance and formal charges
14. VSEPR theory
15. intermolecular forces
16. gas laws and gas stoichiometry


Chem211 Spring 2000

OLD Exam1 key (multiple choice answers only)

1-B 2-C 3-A
4-B 5-B 6-A
7-B 8-D 9-C
10-C 11-E 12-D
13-C 14-C  
Avg 71    


OLD Exam2 key

1-A 2-A 3-B
4-A 5-A 6-A
7-A 8-D 9-B
10-E 11-A 12-D
13-E 14-C 15-E
16-B 17-E 18-D
19-C 20-C  
Avg 62    


OLD Exam3 key

1-B 2-C 3-C
4-A 5-D 6-B
7-C 8-B 9-B
10-B 11-C 12-C
13-C 14-B 15-B
Avg 63