CHEM 152 D: General Chemistry

Winter 2020
MWF 3:30pm - 4:20pm / BAG 131
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Download a PDF of the Course Schedule:

CHEMISTRY 152 D (Winter 2020)

Lectures:  M, W, F  3:30 PM – 4:20 PM in BAG 131

Course Web Site:

Add or Drop:            Go to Bagley 303 (Chemistry Department’s undergraduate services).


Course Instructor:   

Dr. Lutz Maibaum | BAG 307 | 
Office hours: Fridays 1-2pm in BAG 330 (Chemistry Study Center)

Lab Instructor:                  

Dr. Andrea Carroll | BAG 219 |   
Office hours: by appointment

Lead Teaching Assistant:

Emma Cave |
Office Hours: Monday 9:00-10:00am in BAG 330 (Chemistry Study Center)

Teaching Assistants:

You are welcome to attend office hours of any TA in 152 D. 


 Email (


 Office Hours*
 (in Chem Study Ctr., BAG 330) 

Office Hour Zoom link
(for week of March 9)

Office Hour Zoom link (for week of March 16)

Micaela Homer mkhomer DA, DC Tues 9:00-10:00am and 1:00-2:00pm Tuesday 9am, Tuesday 1pm Tuesday 9:30am-10:30am, 1-2pm
Jacob Finney finneyjm DB, DJ Tues and Fri 11:30am-12:30pm  TuesdayFriday
Saransh Jain saranshj DD, DF Wed 1:30-3:30pm Wednesday
Kristina Herman kmherman DE, DH Mon 1:30-2:30pm Wed 9:30-10:30am Monday, Wednesday
David Hales dhales DG Mon 4:30-5:30pm Monday
Emma Cave ecave DI Mon 9:00-10:00am Monday 9:00-10:00am
Yosef Bedaso bedasoy DK Fri  10:00-11:00am Friday 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Victor Lee vgl2 DL Tues 10:00-11:00am Tuesday 10:00-11:00 AM Tuesday 10:00-11:00AM


Questions about the Course? Use Canvas Discussion Board.

With so many students in our classes, it’s simply not feasible for me or the TAs to respond to individual emails about the course content or schedule. If you have a question along these lines, please post it to the Canvas Discussion Board rather than emailing one of us directly. That way you will be accessing the collective knowledge of literally hundreds of people, who are all thinking about the same things as you. You are likely to receive an answer much more quickly than if you only email me or your TA. However, The TAs and I will be actively monitoring the discussion board and will answer questions as we find them. Many of your colleagues will probably have the same question as you, so posting your question on Canvas helps everyone in the class.

How to get me to respond to your email:

I receive a lot of emails. I will do my best to respond within 48 hours to an email you send me, but to maximize your chances of hearing back, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Email me about private matters, such as grades, or requests for private appointments. Questions about course content or the course schedule should be posted to the Canvas Discussion Board.
  2. Use 
  3. Indicate your section 
  4. Present yourself in a professional manner. This includes:
    • Use an appropriate salutation (“Dear Dr. Maibaum,” or “Hi Dr. Maibaum,” etc.) and sign-off (“Best, Leslie Jones” or “Thanks, ” etc.).
    • Write in complete sentences.
    • Employ proper punctuation and grammar

How to make an appointment to see me:

If you are unable to attend my regularly-scheduled office hours, or would like to schedule a time to speak with me privately, I am happy to meet with you! I typically schedule student meetings in 15-minute blocks. When you contact me to set up a meeting, please follow these steps:

  1. Send me an email. I will not remember to put our meeting in my calendar if we only speak in person.
  2. Indicate whether you want to schedule a private meeting (if you have questions about grades, DRS accommodations, etc.), or if other students may attend (if you want to discuss course content).
  3. Suggest two or three possible days for our meeting, and give me your detailed schedule on those days. I will email you back with a 15-minute block that will work for both of us.
  4. Confirm via email that the day and time I suggest will work for you.
  5. If you have to reschedule or cancel a meeting we’ve set, email me as soon as possible.


Your experience in this class is important to us, and it is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. Disability Resources for Students (DRS) offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.  If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary or permanent disability that requires accommodations, you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or visit If you have already established accommodations with DRS, please use the information provided on the website for this course when submitting your Alternative Testing Contract to DRS via their online system. Students with accommodations are solely responsible for submitting the Alternative Testing Contract and scheduling the exams with DRS well in advance of the exam dates.  If you require accommodations in the laboratory (including assistants and/or interpreters), please contact the Undergraduate Services Director (Bagley 303D) in person in the first week of the quarter to discuss your accommodations.


Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (


Except where indicated, all items are required and available from the University Bookstore:

  • General Chemistry 152, University of Washington, Zumdahl/Decoste (custom-split version of "Chemical Principles," 7th edition. Chem 152 version contains Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 and the complete Student Solutions Manual).
  • Study Guide, Chemical Principles, 7th ed.,Zumdahl/Kelter (optional).
  • UW General Chemistry 152 Laboratory Manual, Autumn 2019-Summer 2020 (Hayden McNeil)
  • UW Chemistry Laboratory Notebook (Hayden McNeil) with numbered pages and carbonless duplicate pages. 
  • Lab coat and safety goggles (NO safety glasses or any other type of goggles).
  • Non-Programmable Scientific calculator. There are numerous inexpensive scientific calculators on the market. Graphing/text-entry calculators WILL NOT be permitted on exams. 
  • ALEKS access. Purchase online: (see ALEKS info on the course website for more information).
  • Standard (purple) Scantron forms for exams


Students who successfully complete CHEM 152 will be able to

  • Build on their understanding of reaction kinetics to describe a system at equilibrium.
  • Determine the equilibrium constant for a chemical system and use it to qualitatively describe the relationship between quantities of reactants and products.
  • Predict the equilibrium state of a chemical system in partial pressures or concentrations of reactants and products based on initial conditions.
  • Predict the behavior of a chemical system at equilibrium when that system is perturbed by a change in conditions.
  • Explain the First, Second, and Third Laws of Thermodynamics in relation to chemical systems.
  • Describe the energetics of a chemical system using the state functions enthalpy, entropy, and free energy.
  • Predict the tendency of a chemical system to react based on thermodynamic principles.
  • Explain the equilibrium state of a chemical system using thermodynamic principles.
  • Combine the kinetic and thermodynamic properties of a chemical system to explain whether a reaction will occur.
  • Explain electrochemical systems and the work produced in terms of thermodynamic principles.
  • Develop skill in visualizing the particulate level as related to the concepts above.
  • Relate empirical observations, particularly in the laboratory portion of the course, to concepts listed above.
  • Demonstrate laboratory, data analysis, and scientific writing skills.


  1. Attend ALL classes, pay close attention, and take notes.
  2. Learning chemistry is a sequential process. You must understand today’s material before you can understand tomorrow's. As with all courses at UW, your instructors and TAs will assume that you are studying at least two hours for each hour of lecture and one hour for every hour of lab. Find a place that allows for periods of uninterrupted study. Skim through the book sections to be covered in the next lecture.
  3. Working in shorter, more frequent sessions in ALEKS will be more efficient than long, marathon sessions.
  4. Practice! Work on suggested end-of-the-chapter problems and worksheets as well as topics in ALEKS - focus on understanding the concepts and general processes, not just memorizing how to solve a specific problem.
  5. Talk chemistry with your fellow chemistry students. You will not only learn more, but you will probably also enjoy the course more.


The course consists of:

  • 3 lectures per week
  • 1 discussion section per week
  • 1 three-hour lab session certain weeks of the quarter (6 labs total – see the Labs document for details.)
  • Daily work in the ALEKS online learning environment
  • Online prelab assignments and online submission of post-lab reports

The point distribution for the evaluative components of the course is as follows:

Discussion Section Participation


ALEKS (50% Objectives, 50% Pie Mastery)




2 Midterm exams (45 minutes each)


Final exam (1 hour 45 minutes)





Discussion Section Participation

Each Discussion Section is worth 3 points. To earn all of your participation points, you must arrive on time and participate in good faith during the Discussion Section, not simply be in attendance (see below for a description of Discussion Section activities). The lowest Discussion Section score will be dropped, allowing you to miss one without penalty. The Discussion Section Participation category will be scaled to 25 course points (5% of course grade).


Your ALEKS grade is constructed from your ten objective scores and the percent of the pie you complete by the end of the quarter. The more of the pie you complete, the higher your ALEKS score will be, but you do not have to complete the entire pie to earn credit for ALEKS. Similarly, you do not have to complete all the topics in an Objective to earn credit. Whatever percentage of topics you complete by the due date will be your score for that Objective. Each Objective is worth 10 points, and there are ten Objectives, so the Objectives portion is worth 100 points. The Pie Mastery portion is also worth 100 points. The ALEKS category will be scaled to 50 course points (10% of course grade).


Your Laboratory grade is comprised of six prelab quizzes (5 pts/ea), six postlab reports (60 pts/ea), the Undergraduate Stockroom contract (5 pts), and the Safety Quiz (5 pts), for a total of 400 points. The Lab category will be scaled to 75 course points (15% of course grade).

Midterm Exams

Midterms will focus on the most recent set of lectures, but chemistry is a cumulative subject by nature, so I will assume that you have a firm understanding of material from earlier in the quarter when I write the exam questions. The Midterm Exams category will be scaled to 200 course points (40% of course grade). 

Final Exam

The Final Exam is cumulative. I will provide details about the percentage by points of each course unit on the final towards the end of the quarter. The final exam will be scaled to 150 course points (30% of course grade).

Grade Distribution

The final mean GPA in Chemistry 152 generally falls within the range 2.6 to 2.9. It is the Chemistry Department’s policy not to make grade changes of 0.1 after final class grades are submitted to the UW Registrar.

Monitor your Scores

Your scores for Participation, Lab, and Exams  will be recorded using the Canvas Gradebook. Your ALEKS scores can be monitored through the Gradebook and Reports tabs on ALEKS. Your overall ALEKS grade will be imported to the Canvas Gradebook at the end of the quarter.


Original work performed in good faith is assumed on all assignments and course components.

The Student Conduct Code (see outlines the following forms of academic misconduct:

  • Intentional misrepresentation of credentials
  • Falsification of data
  • Plagiarism

Failure to adhere to this code of ethics will result in referral for possible disciplinary action as described in the Student Conduct Code. If you have not done something yourself, do not attempt to pass it off as original work. If you have questions about what might cross the line, please do not hesitate to ask your lab or class instructor. It is presumed that the data you record and report in laboratory, and the work you submit in an exam, is your work. In addition, all data analysis and writing you submit should be yours alone, even if you collected data with a laboratory partner. We often find examples of plagiarism in which lab reports are copied from someone else, or from an earlier quarter.


Lesson Schedule

An approximate schedule for the chapters to be covered each week is available in the Canvas calendar for this course. You are responsible for material covered in class AND in the textbook (whether or not it was covered in lecture). My lectures will cover only highlights of the textbook material.

Lesson Notes and Recordings

PDFs of the lesson notes I will present in each class are available on the Course Topics module. All lessons will be recorded using the Panopto lecture capture system. Note: If a technical problem causes a scheduled recording to fail, the lesson will not be re-recorded.

Common Courtesy 

Out of respect for me and for your classmates, observe the following rules:

  • Arrive on time. If an emergency causes you to arrive late, complete all noise-making (removing your coat, getting out notes, zipping up your bag, turning off your phone) before you enter the class, and find a seat on the periphery.
  • Do not pack up your belongings before the end of class.
  • Keep side conversations to a minimum.
  • Keep your cell phone or pager on silent, and do not send or read text messages.
  • Do not browse or read materials that are unrelated to the lecture. This includes – but is not limited to – newspapers, books, magazines, and the internet.

Attendance Policy

Attendance in lecture is encouraged, but not required. If you don’t want to be in class to pay attention, don’t come. Students who are not paying attention are a distraction to students who are paying attention. If you are causing a distraction to other students, I will ask you to leave.


In the weekly discussion section, your TA will spend 10-15 minutes going over important aspects of the upcoming laboratory experiment, and make class-related announcements. Following this your TA will hand out a worksheet containing problems relevant to current lecture topics, which you will work on with a group of classmates. The worksheet problems are intended to help you synthesize the material covered in the previous week’s lectures, therefore, they will be quite challenging. These worksheets will be graded on participation only. A blank version of the worksheet and its key will be available in the Course Topics module on Thursday evening each week.

To earn participation points, arrive to discussion section on time and collaborate in good faith with your colleagues. If you arrive late, or if you engage in activities unrelated to the course, you will not be awarded participation credit for that day.


This course uses the internet-based learning program ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces). In ALEKS, you will complete learning objectives rather than traditional homework assignments. An ALEKS Objective contains topics relevant to the lecture discussions. ALEKS will present you with a series of problems that explore a particular topic. The problems will have enough variability that you will only be able to get them consistently correct by understanding the core principle or skill defining the topic. Once you consistently answer the problems for a given topic correctly, ALEKS will conclude that you have learned the topic, and you will then be allowed to choose another topic to learn (refer to the ALEKS Orientation posted on the course website for more details). Your daily/weekly work on ALEKS will be on your own schedule outside of class, although there are specific deadlines by which you must complete various Objectives. The registration code for your ALEKS course can be downloaded from Canvas. Make sure that you register for the ALEKS course specific to your section of 152.

The registration code for your ALEKS course can be downloaded from the ALEKS module. 

Your first task in ALEKS will be to complete an Initial Knowledge Check. This is ALEKS’s way of assessing your current knowledge of math and chemistry, so that it can guide you appropriately. The Knowledge Check will contain 25-30 questions and shouldn’t take more than 40-60 minutes to complete. You will probably be asked a few questions that you don’t know how to answer. Don’t worry…the ALEKS system is only determining your knowledge baseline so that it can be tailored to address your specific needs. When you use ALEKS, you will complete the learning tasks you need and not those somebody else needs. After you complete the Initial Knowledge Check, ALEKS will provide one-on-one instruction intended specifically for you. ALEKS will also give you a new Knowledge Check after you complete each Objective, so that it can track your evolving knowledge state as you move through the material, and continue to tailor its approach to your unique learning path.

You, alone, are responsible for monitoring the due date and time for all ALEKS Objectives. Note that it is not possible to open up an ALEKS Objective 3 or 4 hours before it’s due and be able to complete it. ALEKS will not let you access the problems corresponding to the more advanced topics in an Objective until you have mastered the basics, so you will need to spend time nearly every day on ALEKS to complete the Objectives. The schedule of Objectives and their due dates is available on the Canvas course site.


There are two midterm exams and one final exam in this course. The dates for these exams are provided in the course schedule on Canvas. Chemistry knowledge is cumulative so questions on exams will often depend on knowledge from earlier chapters and courses.

Information about the seating chart for exams, exam coverage, and exam review materials can be found in the Exams module.

Exam Protocol

  • Bring a few # 2 pencils, a couple of Scantron forms, your NON-PROGRAMMABLE scientific calculator, and a photo ID to all exams.
  • Submitted Scantron forms must be filled out completely.  Any identifying information (name, student number, section letters, and test version) that is missing or incomplete will result in a 3-point deduction from your exam score. All answers must be reported on the Scantron form by the end of the individual stage of the exam in order to be graded.
  • You must sit according to the seating chart that will be posted on the course website. 

Midterm exams will be returned in Discussion Section, and the keys will be posted on Canvas. Final exams will not be returned, and the key will not be posted on Canvas. However, you may contact Dr. Maibaum after the quarter to review your final and the key.


Catalog Description:
Gas phase and aqueous equilibria (with emphasis on acid-base equilibrium), thermochemistry, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. Includes laboratory. No more than 6 credits from the following may count toward graduation requirements: CHEM 152, CHEM 153 CHEM 155. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 1.7 in either CHEM 142, CHEM 143, or CHEM 145. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements Met:
Natural Sciences (NSc)
Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR)
Last updated:
June 22, 2024 - 11:26 am