The study of Chemistry is useful in finding causes of environmental problems as well as offering a powerful tool to solve these problems. This course gives students an opportunity to deepen their understanding of chemistry by applying basic chemical principles to the study of the environment. The course will be divided into three main segments: (1) Chemistry of the Atmosphere (air environment), (2) Chemistry of the Hydrosphere (water environment) and (3) Independent research on an environmental problem.
In part one, topics to be studied will include: the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the ozone layer, acid rain, photochemical smog, and the "greenhouse effect". Part two will include the study of: the chemical composition of seawater, the process of desalination, and the effects of such parameters as dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and dissolved solids on water quality. A federal, state or municipal cleanup project will be studied in detail. In part three, students will research the chemistry of an environmental problem and hypothesize a solution to the problem studied.
The course assumes familiarity with basic chemistry but concepts studied in general chemistry will be reviewed as the chemistry of the environment is studied. Students will explore environmental topics \ through several varied activities. These will include on-line activities involving Internet search and visits to particular websites as well as projects off-line using home, school, and community resources. The teacher will facilitate this process by serving as mentor in directing students to reliable sources of information and helping the students understand the chemical concepts involved. Students' grades will be based primarily on the successful completion of all assignments when due and their research paper.
Chemistry I or Physical Science with Strong Chemistry Component
1. Deepen their understanding of chemistry by studying the chemical processes involved in environmental chemistry
2. Heighten their awareness of the local and global interconnection of environmental issues through studying community and worldwide environmental projects
3. Appreciate the powerful tool that chemistry is in comprehending and solving present day environmental problems by exploring ongoing case studies that use chemistry as the basis for solving an environmental problem
4. Learn to explore an environmental problem and offer solutions to that problem by writing a research paper
5. Share research and ideas on environmental topics with their peers by moderating and participating in group discussions
Science - Physical Science
10, 11, 12
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Certified by NCAA for initial-eligibility (VHS School Code: 221356), Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools, AdvancED