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CHEM 120 A: Principles of Chemistry I

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 8:30am - 9:20am
ARC 147
Samantha Robinson
Samantha Robinson

Syllabus Description:

"If you never guess wrong, you're not guessing about hard enough things." - Jordan Ellenberg, Shape, 2021 (p. 418)

Course Meeting Times


M, T, W, TH 8:30-9:20am

ARC 147

Lectures are recorded via Panopto, and the recordings will be available on Canvas (and as a live stream).

Discussion (Quiz) Sections

Fridays (times and locations per the UW Time Schedule)

Discussion sections are not recorded and in-person participation is expected. You are allowed to miss two discussion sections without penalty. If you need to miss discussion section for any reason, please submit a response to this absence form.

Lab Sections

Tuesdays & Wednesdays (times and locations per the UW Time Schedule)

In-person participation is required for lab. You are required to attend a lab safety orientation and 6 lab experiments. If you need to miss lab for any reason, please submit a response to this absence form.


FINALS WEEK Office Hours (Dec 11th ONLY)

Dr. Robinson

Bagley 202D, 9:30-10:30

Teaching Assistant Office Hours (BAG 330)

11:00-12:00 (Corvo), 12:00-1:00 (AnneClaire), 1:00-2:00 (Chisa), 2:00-3:00 (Maddie), 3:00-4:00 (Annie), 4:00-5:00 (Abby), 5:00-6:00 (Lucas)

Teaching Team


Dr. Samantha Robinson (she/her) |

Weekly, Drop-In Office Hours: Mondays (9:30-10:30), Wednesdays (11:30-12:30) (BAG 202D)

Teaching Assistants (BAG 330)

Chisa Zensho (she/her) |

Mondays (1:30-2:30)

Annie Moulene (she/her) |

Mondays (3:00-4:00), Thursdays (3:00-4:00)

Corvo Tran (he/him) |

Mondays (4:30-5:30), Wednesdays (4:30-5:30)

Maddie Breshears (she/her) |

Tuesdays (10:00-11:00, 3:30-4:30)

Abby Strominger (she/her) |

Mondays (9:20-12:20), Tuesdays (1:00-2:00), Fridays (12:30-3:30)

AnneClaire Wageman (she/her) |

Tuesdays (11:00-12:00, 4:30-5:30)

Lucas Narisawa (he/they) |

Wednesdays (3:30-4:30), Thursdays (1:00-2:00)

Course Materials

Textbook & Online Homework Access

  • General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, 7th edition (Stoker, Cengage) ($25/quarter ebook access)
  • Achieve Online Homework (Macmillan) (atmna7) ($32/quarter or $75/year with UW pricing)
  • Scientific (non-graphing) calculator

(There are several formats of the textbook available from the bookstore and other retailers (hardcover, loose-leaf, rental, used, etc.) Pick whatever format will be most affordable and convenient for you. More information is available on the Textbook & Materials Information Page)

Lab Gear

  • Lab Coat & Goggles
  • Lab Notebook (carbonless duplicate pages)

(More information available on the Lab Policies Page)

Internet & Instructional Technology

    • Access to a computer or tablet

Need a device? Try Student Technology Loan Program funded by Student Technology Fees

You will NOT need a printer or separate scanner for this course, but submissions cannot be a group of individual image files. There are free apps available for both Apple and Android devices: ie, Genius Scan, Scannable, and the native "Notes" app on Apple devices.

Learning Objectives

See a specific breakdown of objectives & skills per chapter in the Canvas site (Course Learning Objectives page).

Course Components & Grading

The course consists of:

  • 4 recorded in-person class sessions per week - Recordings will be available in Panopto in Canvas
  • 1 in-person discussion section per week with a teaching assistant (sessions are not recorded)
  • 6 Lab experiments (+ a lab training session) over the course of the quarter
  • Daily work in the Achieve online homework platform
  • In-person exams administered during the lecture time in the lecture hall
  • Various participation assignments: exam reflections, reading assignments, etc.

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

  • Exams = 67%
  • Lab = 15%
  • Online Homework = 7%
  • Other Participation = 11% (Discussion sections, active reading, etc.)

Some additional notes on grading:

  • You can find specific guidance on dropped assignments and other details on the grading page in Canvas.
  • The final median GPA in Chemistry 120 generally falls between 2.6-2.9.
  • 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.
  • Your scores for the various assignments and exams will be recorded using the online Gradebook in Canvas.

Additional Resources in Canvas

Course Schedule Summary: Assignment Due Dates + Reading Schedule

Office Hours Information

Classroom Climate

Access & Accommodations

Academic Ethics & Integrity

Keys to Success & Help Resources

Course Communication

Course Policies (Absences & Late Work, Exam Policies, Lab Policies, Grading Policies)

Catalyze Your Success program information

Catalog Description: 
First course in a three-quarter overview of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Not for students majoring in biochemistry, chemistry, or engineering. Includes matter and energy, chemical nomenclature, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, modern atomic theory, chemical bonding. Laboratory. Only 5 credits can be counted toward graduation from the following: CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 145. Prerequisite: Assessment of skills by taking General Chemistry Placement Exam Offered: AS.
GE Requirements: 
Natural Sciences (NSc)
Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR)
Section Type: 
Last updated: 
July 6, 2023 - 2:24am