• With Chemistry, We Can

    Course Description

    This full-year, dual enrollment course (w/NJIT) focuses introducing the basic concepts of chemistry, including chemical reactions and bonding, electronic and molecular structure, gases and thermochemistry. The lab experiments are designed to provide students with practical experience and train students with laboratory techniques/equipment common to chemistry laboratories.



    Ms. Austin

    B.S. Molecular Biology with a Chemistry Minor

    M.S. Chemistry


    Ms. Austin holds a Master’s Degree of Science (M.S.) in Chemistry from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Bachelor’s Degree of Science (B.S.) in Molecular Biology with a Chemistry Minor from Montclair State University. Ms. Austin has taught chemistry for over 8 years.


    Teacher Availability:

    Ms. Austin will be available during advisory periods, after school until 4pm on weekdays, and by appointment.


    Learning Objectives


    By the end of the course students will be able to:                            

    • Learn measurement units and perform unit conversions systematically using dimensional analysis or multiplication by one
    • Explain atomic structure and determine average atomic mass.
    • Learn to use periodic table to predict charges on atoms.
    • Understand mole concept: convert mass into moles and vice versa
    • Write chemical formula for simple compounds and calculate mass of molecules, and mass % of individual atoms
    • Calculate moles, molecular and empirical formula of a compound from basic principles using proper unit conversions
    • Balance chemical equations
    • Define solute, solvent and apply mole concept in aqueous solutions and reactions.
    • Identify various types of chemical reactions and apply the concept of limiting reagent to calculate percentage yield of products in different reaction types.
    • Apply various gas laws and the first law of thermodynamics to chemical problems
    • Calculate the energy changes in chemical reactions
    • Explain the quantum mechanical basis for the sub-structure of the atom
    • Write the electronic configuration for the elements in the periodic table and describe trends in periodic properties
    • Draw the Lewis dot structures for simple molecules and exceptions to octet rule
    • Discuss electronegativity and bond polarity
    • Use VSEPR to predict shapes of molecules and whether a molecule will have a dipole moment
    • Identify sigma and pi bonds and explain the hybridization of the molecules
    • Describe the differences in bonding patterns between solids liquids and gases
    • Describe differences in basic crystalline shapes
    • Determine edge length and density of simple crystalline shapes.
    • Predict changes in freezing point, elevation in boiling point and osmotic pressure when a solute dissolves in a pure solvent
    • Describe changes in reaction rates and chemical equilibria.

    Course Goals:

    1. To provide a broad foundation in chemistry that stresses scientific reasoning and analytical problem solving with a molecular perspective.
    2. To provide students with the skills required to succeed in upper level college chemistry courses.
    3. To expose the students to a breadth of experimental techniques using modern instrumentation.

    Our Routine (PPP)


    This class meets three times a week, 80 minutes per block. This class will employ experiential learning activities, meaning it will be difficult to make up the amount of work covered due to absence. The activities we do in class are absolutely essential to your learning. You must make every effort to be on time, ready to work, and to be engaged fully on our task throughout the whole of our time. If you are absent for the whole day, you are equally responsible for everything we did that day. All missing assignments are provided through the online textbook and may be handed in electronically via google classroom.  This means you should discuss fully the day’s material online and with your group before you return. If you are or will be absent, email austindy@orange.k12.nj.us as soon as possible. If you do not have access to email,    Ms. Austin will make an alternate arrangement with you.


    It is often said “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” Every single day you will be collaborating with your classmates in pairs or in groups to push each other farther than any of us could get alone and provide you with opportunities to reexamine you thinking. Sometimes you will choose your groups and other times they will be assigned.  This means that all of us need to treat one another in this class as partners - that is, with respect and with generosity. Behavior that harms the spirit of partnership will not be tolerated, because it destroys the trust needed to learn from each other.


    It is important that you regularly practice skills we’ve built in class, between 30 minutes and 40 minutes every night. Homework will be posted on www.classroom.google.com .  Quizzes will be given frequently and may be unannounced. Important note: plagiarism will not be tolerated. Please review the district policy on academic honesty in the STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges handbook.



    Google Classroom: Links to worksheets, PowerPoints, and other class materials will be posted here. This is also where you will upload assignments for submission and view teacher feedback.  Assignment due dates will sync automatically with google calendar (recommended app to download).  

     Genesis- Grades will be available to students and parents through genesis.


    Remind 101: Remind 101 allows teachers to send texts or emails to groups of students while keeping the teacher’s phone number hidden from the students and the students’ numbers hidden from the teacher. You will have an opportunity to join our class through the application in the first few weeks.


    Google Meet/Zoom: Live lessons will be hosted through one of either video conferencing platforms.


    10% Homework

    20% Quizzes

    20% Classwork

    25% Unit Tests (including a ACS standardized final examination)

    25% Authentic Assessments


    Each Task will have a set of Deliverables (journal, reports, models, posters, etc.) which are due on the due date as indicated on the course schedule. Assignments that do not meet expectations may be returned for a “REDO” at Ms. Austin’s discretion. A REDO can be turned in, past the due date, for additional credit. Assignments submitted through google classroom, needing to be redone will receive a REDO comment and can be re-submitted online



    Quizzes are designed to be learning experiences that can help you identify problems before it becomes too late.                                                 



    Labs will be graded based on attention to safety and preparation, attention to detail/ directions, time usage, cooperation with lab partner, having required supplies and materials, and laboratory notebook documentation.  Pre-lab assignments are to be completed before the start of every lab and marked as complete before students can begin the day’s activities. Students who do not have this pre-lab assignments at the start of the period may not take part in the day’s activities because the pre-lab assignments will include safety information relevant to the procedures. In this case, the student will be dismissed to complete an alternate for reduced credit and will need to schedule a time outside of class with Ms. Austin to make up the lab when they are prepared.                    



    Unit exams will be given after each unit we cover. They will be made up of multiple-choice questions and short answer questions. Your journal entries and review sessions will assist in preparing for these exams. REDO’s are not available on exams.


    Other things to know:

    During synchronous instruction, students will be muted and unmuted when they raise their hand. Video sharing is encouraged, but not required, unless specified by administration. Students will be asked to participate regularly through the utilization of “nonverbal feedback" in instances when your camera may be off.  If you do not share your video and fail to respond to a question during synchronous instruction, points will be taken off your participation/classwork grade. Repeated instances will be reported to administration. If you need a break, you must notify the teacher, so they are aware you stepped away from the computer and do not mark you as non-participatory.  

    Missing and incomplete assignments can be viewed on Genesis. If absent, each student will have two days to make up a missing assignment. After that, a 5-point penalty will be taken off any assignment for each day it is late. If a student is not absent, but failed to complete an assignment, they may request an extension by speaking with the instructor. A 5-point penalty may be taken off the assignment for every day it is not turned in. For example, a homework or classwork assignment that is late for a period of 5 school days, without being excused, is only eligible to receive a maximum score of 75. Additionally, your parents will be contacted when you miss an assignment and administration will be notified. Excessive missing assignments will result in a disciplinary action. 






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