• AP Chemistry Course Syllabus and Requirements


    Instructor: Richard Hendricks

    Room: a253

    School phone 242-7682 x 8000

    Cell phone: 585-314-2029 ( accepts text messages, voice mail and voice to text )

    E-mail: Richard.hendricks@rcsdk12.org

    URL:  http://sites.google.com/site/sotaapphysics

    A.     Description

    This course is consists of what is traditionally 2 of 3 semesters of college freshman chemistry.  A course of this nature is essential for most science, technical and engineering careers.  It is a “weed out” class for medical schools and for many competitive nursing programs.  Many students will find that the AP program gives students the background they need to do well in these courses.   It is a combination of visualizing the un-seeable and using that knowledge to make measurements and make precise conclusions

    B. Organization

    Chemistry is abstract and you can read about something a lot but you demonstrate understanding by doing problems.  If you can’t do the problems, you haven’t reached the correct level of knowledge.  Problem solving is so important; I have assigned problems for the first marking period and attached them.

    Our calendar, homework, course requirements and other information for you will be posted on a Google wiki, so if you lose this page, you will know where to get another copy I made the wiki for ap physics but I can use it for whatever I want.    http://sites.google.com/site/sotaapphysics

     Eventually I will likely move this information to the SOTA site, when I’m confident it will work as well as the google free sites. 

    C.  Lab work

    We will do several labs that the AP people consider critical enough to require a formal write up.  We will also see many demonstrations and take on lab measurements – even if they are not part of the AP core.  They will be relevant, of course.  Sometimes there are several ways for you to get the point and I have order materials to allow variation.  I intend to use them.

    We will also do some “cool” demonstrations.  Realize that your teacher has worked with the demonstration materials for many years.  I may make it look easy.  I will discuss the subject I am trying to show but I may forget to mention many things that could hurt you if you tried to do this yourself.   The key to safety is knowledge and control.  Do not try to modify anything I tell you to do.  Do not follow “recipes” on the internet.  I have seen many recipes and even you tube videos and I honestly don’t know how they don’t blow themselves up. 

    Be safe in your lab work and if you feel that there is a suitable alternative or extension, ASK ME FIRST.   This is not physics.  In physics, if you break it, I can usually fix it.  This is not the same thing.  If you break it, you could really get hurt.   We have to stress safe operation. 


    D.  Text and required supplies

    Text: We will be using the Zumbdahl text for this class and your homework will be from this text. Solutions for the problems will be given but you will find that most of the work you do , requires you to figure out how the solution was obtained.  This is why your homework should not just include the final answer. I will give you the final answer.  Instead, neatly show your work.

    Calculator:  Almost every day, mathematical sciences such as physics will require calculation.  You will need to have a calculator.  Don’t get a fancy one; you just need trigonometric functions and logs.  Dollar stores even have them.  If you forget to bring your calculator on occasion, use one of mine.  I have an array of them and I’d like to keep that array, so please return it.  

    Notebook: I don’t like spiral notebooks.  I want you to have a three ring binder.  I would guess a 1” or less to be fine for collection of your work.  In this binder, I’d like you to keep your homework.  You can put lab work in there but I’d prefer your lab work to prepared in digital form. That way, any edits that need to be made, can be done without rewrite.


    Workstation: You will need a workstation at home, in the school, at the library or somewhere outside of class time.  Even a smart phone with YouTube access and internet access is fine as long as you can see videos and use flash.  I don't think the IPad support flash but you will need to have access to something that does at times. 

    Healthy habits

    •  Most people your age need 8-9 hours of sleep.  Make sure you get it.  Coffee's great but it is not a substitute for sleep.  You should plan on working efficiently.  I have seen too many kids fighting sleep looking at the same paragraph for an hour.  If you score how you are doing by how long you work, rather than on how productive you are, you have the wrong standard.  You aren't being paid by the hour. Use your hours wisely.
    • In his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation", Abraham Maslow described a hierarchy of needs.  At the base of this list of needs are Physiological requirements.  Besides sleep, people need to eat before we can expect them to learn anything.


    ·         Too many times we see students using the worst possible thing they can to satisfy hunger cravings.  Again my push is to work smart, instead of working hard with no results.  People need to eat.  If you on a diet eat Oatmeal, carrots, grits, egg whites, apples, etc.  Don't eat something that will make you lethargic or unable to function.   

    • Don't "bump".  An endless array of studies on memory, learning and cognition show that the mind cannot multitask well.  The more attention given to one task, the less attention given to another. 
    • This is why we don't want you to drive and text.  This is why we tell mothers delivering children to breath in a specific pattern.  Breathing that way is just a distraction so they can't think about pain.
    • Some people claim that classical background music is helpful but I suspect that if you are a classical music performer, it will be a distraction. 
    • Popular music with lyrics or raps is certainly a distraction and TV or videos are the worst type of distraction.  I have seen kids spend 4 hours on homework they could have done in 15 minutes with better comprehension because they insist on having the TV on.  If you have these bad habits, expect school to be a grind forever. 
    • If you have not already discovered the great advantage of working in a library, please discover it soon.  You can get volumes of work done in what would take you days in a coffee shop or cafeteria.

    E. Classroom rules of conduct:

    1.       Attendance: There is a big push this year for great tracking of attendance.  For many of you, it will show up as a teacher like me getting you into the room on time.  For most of you, it will be nothing new.  For seniors in particular, you have a tendency to wander, be late or disregard punctuality.  Being on time is a way to show respect for what the teacher has ready for you.  Lateness that happens rarely is something we all get mixed up with.  I will handle that much differently than someone who starts to do it routinely.   Be on time!


    A late log book will be at the door entry for you to sign when you come in late.  This is school policy but a good one for people like me who have no memory and cannot spot a trend. 


    2.       NEW CELL PHONE policy in effect this year:

    Phones (or anything else electronic): Like many of you, I have a smart phone.  It helps my productivity but it can also be a distraction.  It was so much of a distraction that the faculty voted it public enemy #1.  I was among those who felt that kids were too easily distracted by the texts and social media to allow students to use the cell phones in class.  So of you may remember me referring to them as “your biggest inhibitor” because I honestly saw it that way. 

    • I want them off and away during class.  
    • Don't plug them in to charge
    • Don't text under the desk. 
    • Don't turn the ringer off and pretend its ok. 
    • Don't tell me you are just using it for a calculator.   

    We are to ask you to put them away and then refer you to Mr. Chandler if you do not or if you bring it back out again.  Please tell anyone you have to tell, not to text you or call during class.  Likewise, I will have to model this behavior.  You should expect to find me with cell phone off and stashed away during class. 

    3.       Dress Code:   The dress code is not entirely new but we are going to be pretty specific this year about that we do not want to see.  There will be diagrams to help you figure it out but the most obvious violation would be wearing a hat either on your head on your side or having it somewhere besides your locker.  As with cell phones, I will remind you but I certainly expect you to comply with these requests. 


    4.       Behaviors:  In most cases, older students tend to be more mature. They realize that teachers are there to make them as smart as possible and get them to the next phase.  In rarer cases, it may become necessary for us to have a discussion about behavior.  In general this discussion would involve me explaining why I can’t allow something to occur.  Punishments are rarer because reasonable mature adults usually understand why common sense should prevail and that there is only person that can ultimately decide how the class is run.  

    Inform the teacher if there is something likely to cause conflict.  Absent due to surgery, bullying,  medical condition that I should know, extreme circumstances at home, etc.  Be sure to disclose only what is necessary for me to know.  If something is private, please tell me that it is private.  For medical conditions,  I think it’s obvious.   For items such as a sick dog, I may not realize you want to keep that private.

    I try to keep the class lively, so we will sometimes joke around   Most of the time I will insult myself because I’m not offended.  If I offend you in any way, please let me know..  The time when you will see I’m not joking is test time. I take my tests seriously and so should you!  Tests are the worst time to fool around in anyway.  I won’t do it.  You won’t do it.

    Sometimes the young adults feel that they are too old for a teacher to tell them what to do.  Recent research indicates the mind isn’t fully developed until about age 30.  You would be very hard pressed to find an adult who will tell you they didn’t think they knew it all at a premature age.  Those same adults will also tell you that they were wrong.  Trust the judgment of those who are older when they have your best interest in mind and accept that your teacher has final authority in the classroom. 

    If the behavior continues, punishments including: detention after school, discussion with a coach about academic eligibility or referral to administrator could be taken.  In any case I will call parents and discuss the nature of the problem and steps I have taken to correct it.  Please note that I would like to call your parents because you did something great or I’m just happy to have a nice kid in class.  Phone calls are not going to be negative only. 

    F. Grading plan coursework will be graded

    Tests /Quizzes




     (as turned in either physically or electronically dropped into a drop box)


    We have lab periods every other day but we will do about 1 lab per week. 


     (should be kept in your 3 ring folder and available upon request)


     (Almost daily)


    Tests/Quizzes:  This year I will quiz you once a week, perhaps on a Friday. We know that the key to success in physics is to keep current.  Cognitive research proves that quizzing directly after instruction is the best way to gain and retain information for students.   Tests are a full period and are comprehensive.  If you have been doing homework, you should do great!  Generally I will make a few samples ahead of time to let you see what is expected.  Quizzes are short; about 15 min only.  If you have done homework, you will do great.  If you copied homework, you will likely fail the quiz. 

    Homework will be collected daily.  When you get it returned the following day, please place it in your binder.  Do not give me the binder.  Do not use a composition book instead of a binder.  It’s too much weight to carry around and I will be carrying a lot this year. . Make sure your name is clearly visible on the front of the binder. I don’t want to guess or search whose binder it is.   I want to make sure you are current.  Organization and presentation count. Use tabs, color, or your own organization methods for your homework.  All homework should be titled with your full name, date and the problems assigned. For example:  Do not use nicknames or assume your first name or a symbol is good enough. 

    If you do not follow these instructions, I will not give you a perfect score – even for perfect work.   Homework is graded out of 5 points so a 5 is 100%.

    Richard Hendricks      9/4/2012 chapter 4     page 135: 3, 6, 8, 12

    G. Little about me:

    I have a B.S. in Chem. Engineering and an M.S. in physics.  My certifications are in all the sciences and math. I have taught physics and chemistry ranging from general to college for 31 years.  I have also taught physics at SUNY Brockport, and am an adjunct professor at MCC in engineering sciences.

    It’s important for me to earn my pay.  I want to do what is necessary to make things better for you to learn.  However I cannot learn for you.  Some things are best learned through failures.  I’m one of the best at learning from failure, unfortunately.  But I can also say that the person who has never failed, is not challenging him/herself enough.  You have to push barriers to improve.

    I have a really cool family that I mention constantly because I’m super proud of them.