First Semester

The first semester of AP chemistry covers a wide range of topics meant to give a basis of understanding for the second semester applications. We cover the basics of math in chemistry (Stoichiometry), some simple chemical reactions, the states of matter, energy transfers, atomic structure (how electrons are arranged around atoms), and chemical bonding (how atoms and molecules stick together). Understanding these basic principles helps us predict the properties and behavior of matter.
Unit 1: Atomic Structure, Electronic Structure and Periodic Trends
  • Introductory Chemistry (Chapters 1 and 2)
    • Most of chapter 1 is covered in the summer work, but we will be adding a lab to focus on measurement, significant figures, graphing, and dimensional analysis. Chapter 2 can be a little confusing, so we will go over the basics of subatomic particles. We will also add in a bit of relevant chapter 3 topics about atomic mass and mass spectrometry.
  • Electronic Structure (Chapters 7 and 8)
    • Technically we will be covering chapters 7 and 8 in this section, but our older textbook really does not follow the flow of the AP standards. You will receive supplemental materials, notes, videos, and activities to help you understand what electrons are, where they can exist, and their arrangements in different atoms. We will also cover periodic (repeating) trends in the elements having to do with their atomic radii, ionization energies, electron affinities, and effective nuclear charge.
Unit 2: Bonding
Now that we have a solid foundation of what atoms are, we will dive into how they combine to form compounds.
  • Ionic Bonding (Chapters 9 and 6)
    • First we will talk about the identities of ions and ionic compounds, how to figure out their ratios in nature and how to write their formulas and names. Then we will learn how to measure changes in energy to quantitatively describe the strength of forces holding together ionic compounds. We will also to an engineering design challenge where students will design a cost effective hand warmer.
  • Covalent Bonding (Chapter 9)
  • VSEPR Theory, Molecular Geometry (Chapter 10)
Unit 3: Intermolecular forces
  • Gases (Chapter 5)
    • This is a math heavy chapter that will set us up for success in the chemical equilibrium chapter. We need to master unit conversions, and mathematical reasoning to justify many conceptual questions. Be prepared to read and take notes on the wordy bits of the chapter.
  • Intermolecular Forces (Chapter 11)
Unit 3: Stoichiometry and Introductory Aqueous Reactions
  • Stoichiometry (Chapter 3)
    • Now that we know what chemicals are, we are going to study the mass relationships in chemical reactions. We will learn how to figure out the chemical formula of a compound in lab, and how to predict the mass of products we can produce.
  • Aqueous Reactions (Chapter 4)
    • This is one of the most important chapters in the fall semester, as it has applications in all of the spring chapters, and is always tested heavily on the AP exam in May.
      • Properties of Solutions
      • Molarity, Dilutions, and Measuring Concentration
      • Precipitation Reactions
      • Acid/Base Reactions
      • Oxidation/Reduction Reactions
      • Solution Stoichiometry
Unit 4: Thermochemistry with Materials Science
  • Thermochemistry (Chapter 6)
    • We have already covered the basics of heat of solution, and bond enthalpy in our bonding unit. Now it's time to talk about the law of conservation of energy, work, heat, more complex calorimetry, and Hess's Law.
  • Materials Science (Chapters 21, 22, and 23)
    • Many of these factoid topics end up embedded into multiple choice items on the AP exam. We will do as much of this as possible before the break and assign the remaining work for over winter break. The more we finish, the better you will to on bonding questions on the final!

Older Unit Links:
Intro to Reactions (Ch 4)

Gas Laws and Thermochemistry (Ch 5 & 6)

Atomic Structure and Trends (Ch 7 & 8)

Bonding I-Ionic Bonds and Lewis Structures (Ch 9)