1) Chemistry is an intimidating academic subject for many students. You are not alone if you are afraid of not doing well in this course! Why do you suppose the study of chemistry is so intimidating for many students? What about having to take a chemistry course bothers you? Make a list of your concerns and bring them to class for discussion with your fellow students and your instructor.

Answer depends on student.

2) The first paragraphs in this chapter ask you if you have ever wondered how and why various things in our everyday lives happen the way they do. For your next class meeting, make a list of five similar chemistry-related things for discussion with your instructor and the other students in your class.

Answer depends on student.

3) This section presents several ways our day-to-day lives have been enriched by chemistry. List three materials or processes involving chemistry that you feel have contributed to such an enrichment and explain your choices.

Answer depends on student.

4) The text discusses the enormous contribution of Dr. Ruth Rogan Benerito to the survival of the cotton fabric industry in the United States. In the discussion, it was mentioned that Dr. Benerito became a chemist when women were not expected to be interested in, or good at, scientific subjects. Had this attitude changed? Among your friends, approximately how many of your female friends are studying a science? How many plan to pursue a career in science? Discuss.

Answer depends on student.

5) This textbook provides a specific definition of chemistry: the study of the materials of which the universe is made and the transformations that these materials undergo. Obviously, such a general definition had to be very broad and nonspecific. From your point of view at this time, how would you define chemistry? In your mind what are “chemicals”? What do “chemists” do?

Answer depends on student.

6) We use chemical reactions in our everyday lives, too, not just in science laboratory. Give at least five examples of chemical transformations that you use in your daily activities. Indicate what the “chemical “ is in each of your examples and how you recognize that a chemical change had taken place.

Answer depends on student.

7) For the “Chemistry in Focus” discussion of lead poisoning given in this section, discuss how David and Susan analyzed the situation, arriving at the theory that the lead glaze on the pottery was responsible for their symptoms.

David found that porphyria can often be confused with lead poisoning, so he started by comparing his symptoms with that of lead poisoning. Because the symptoms seemed to match, the couple got their blood analyzed . After doing experiments with the couple’s life style, the couple reached the conclusion that they were getting sick because of the food that they were eating from their “pretty cups”. It turns out the couple’s pottery was affecting the couples’ health.

8) Being a scientist is very much like being a detective. Detectives such a Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple perform a very systematic analysis of a crime to solve it, much like a scientist does when addressing a scientific investigation. What are the steps that scientists (or detectives) use to solve problems?

Recognize the problem, propose possible solutions, and decide which solution/explanation is best by doing experiments.

9) Why does a scientist make repeated observations of phenomena? Is an observation the same as a theory? Why (or why not)? Is a hypothesis the same as a theory? When does a set of hypotheses become a theory?

Observations are made repeatedly to explain that a certain behavior is a part of nature. An observation and a theory are not the same thing. An observation is something witnessed and recordable. A theory is an explanation of nature. A theory is made when a hypothesis can agree with observations.

10) Observations may be either qualitative or qualitative. Qualitative observations are usually referred to as measurements. List five examples of qualitative observations you might make around your home or school. List five examples of measurements that you might make in everyday life.

Qualitative Observations:

1. The wall is blue.

2. My pencil is yellow.

3. The clouds are white.

4. Orange juice is a liquid.

5. The popsicle is a solid.


1. The wall is 7m tall.

2. That book weighs 16 grams.

3. My pencil is 2cm tall.

4, There are 6 ounces of water is that cup.

5. I am 6 feet tall.

11) Several words are used in this section that students may find hard to distinguish. Write your own definitions of the following terms, and bring them to class for discussion with your teacher and fellow students: Theory, experiment, natural law, hypothesis.

Answer depends on student.

12) What is a natural law? Give examples of such laws. How does a law differ from a theory?

Natural law is a summary of observed, measurable, behavior that occurs repeatedly with consistency. A theory is an attempt to explain such behaviors.

13) Although science should lead to solutions to problems that are completely independent of outside forces, very often in history scientific investigations have been influenced by prejudice, profit motives, fads, wars, religious beliefs, and other forces. Your textbook mentions the case of Galileo having to change his theories about astronomy based on intervention by religious authorities. Can you give three additional example of how scientific investigations have been similarly influenced by nonscientific forces?

Answer depends on student.

14) Although reviewing your lecture notes and reading your textbook are important, why does the study of chemistry depend so much on problem solving? Can you learn to solve problems yourself just by looking at the solved examples in your textbook o study guide? Discuss.

Answer depends on student.

15) Why is the ability to solve problems important in the study of chemistry? Why is it that the method used to attack a problem is as important as the answer to the problem itself?

Answer depends on student.

16) Student approaching the study of chemistry must learn certain basic facts (such as the names and symbols of the most common elements), but is is much more important that they learn to think critically and to go beyond the specific examples discussed in class or in the textbook. Explain how learning to do this might be helpful in any career, even one far removed from chemistry.

Answer depends on student.