CHEM 111L Summer 2017

Information Page

A copy of the syllabus for CHM 111L is here (as a pdf file).

To access ChemPages:

Log onto the ChemistryBiology desktop using SpartanGreenSky. All computers on campus have this option; if you want to access ChemPages off campus, click here and follow instructions.

The MSExcel spreadsheets needed for the class are below. 
For best results, click on the link and SAVE it to your computer or USB drive, then reopen using MSExcel.

These spreadsheets will not change all semester, so you can download all of them at once, instead of waiting until you perform the experiment. What if you didn't bring your USB drive? Try emailing the file to yourself, so you will have a copy as a back-up.
The spreadsheet for the Spreadsheet Assignment (Lab 0)
The spreadsheet for the Basic Lab Techniques exercise (Lab 1)
The spreadsheet for the Physical Properties Lab (Lab 3)
The spreadsheet for the Determination of the Atomic Mass of Mg Lab (Lab 5)
The spreadsheet for the Solutions and Titrations Lab (Lab 9)
The spreadsheet for the Thermochemistry Lab (Lab 11)

Recitation and Lab Announcements

These announcements are provided in reverse chronological order by week and will be updated weekly as the semester progresses.

Week 5:

Monday June 26, 2017: Turn in: "Solutions and Titrations" lab report (pages 9-11), the spreadsheet, and the formula page. Additionally, you will write an abstract—click here for the rubric. Read the "Chemistry of Copper" lab and answer the prelab questions. View the ChemPages on "Filtration, vacuum" and "pH paper" and expect a prelab quiz.

Tuesday June 27, 2017: No lab due today (instead spend time studying for the lecture test!) Read the "Thermochemistry" lab, answer the prelab questions, and view the ChemPages modules on the

Expect a prelab quiz. We will do check-out this day since we won't go back into the lab after this experiment.

Wednesday June 28, 2017: No lab, but turn in your Chemistry of Copper lab by 2:00 pm.

Thursday June 29, 2017: Take lab final exam covering experiments 5-9. At the lab final exam (starts at 1:30 pm), you will turn in your Thermochemistry lab and lab portfolio (worth 30 points!).


Week 4:

Monday June 19, 2017: Turn in: “Determination of the Atomic Mass of Mg” pages 9-10, spreadsheet, and formula page. Read the "Molecular Structures and Shapes" lab, answer the prelab questions, and expect a quiz. There are no ChemPages to view. Start preparing for the lab midterm exam.

Tuesday June 20, 2017: Turn in: "Periodic Properties" report and TWO graphs WITH descriptions of the trends you see. Be sure to plot the group data as two separate series on the same graph. If you have questions, please, please, please come ask!! Read the "Alum from Aluminum Cans" Lab, answer the prelab questions, and view the ChemPages module on Filtration, Vacuum since you will be using similar equipment in this lab (you may skip the part on "Connecting the trap" since you will not be using a trap, but you will be using a water aspirator, so pay particular attention to those parts). Expect a prelab quiz. Also, you will need to bring in a piece of aluminum foil or an aluminum can that has been cleaned/scraped of the outer plastic/paint coating.

Wednesday June 21, 2017: Turn in: Molecular Shapes report (pages 5-8). Read the "Solutions and Titrations" lab, complete the prelab questions, and view the ChemPages modules on:

You will only perform the part labeled "Week 1". Expect a prelab quiz.

Thursday June 22, 2017: No lab, but the lab midterm exam will take place during recitation AND the Alum lab report is due (pages 9-10). We’ll have our second “lecture make-up day” during lab.


Week 3:

Monday June 12, 2017: No Lab (but lecture #2 will start at recitation time!!); no assignments are due.

Tuesday June 13, 2017: Turn in the "Physical Properties" report (pages 5-7), plus the spreadsheet, the formula page, AND the graph (with a proper title--see example on page 2). How to prepare for lab: Read the experiment “Determination of the Atomic Mass of Magnesium”, answer the prelab questions, and view the ChemPages on the “Gas Burner” (all sections and “Safety 2” in the Additional Topics) and Balance (all sections, but pay particular attention to the Additional Topics on “Weighing Hot Objects”). An additional page on the Bunsen burner is on the next to last page of the lab manual—please read this before recitation. Note that you will perform two analyses of the metal, so be sure you overlap the procedures (i.e., while the first sample is cooling, the second one is being heated). Also, since there is copious use of a Bunsen burner in this lab, be sure to tie back long hair.

Wednesday June 14, 2017: No lab or recitation and nothing is due. Note the first exam in lecture, though!!

Thursday June 15, 2017: Turn in: "Hydrogen Emission" report (pages 9-12), the calibration curve, and the energy level diagram for hydrogen. Read the "Periodic Properties Lab" and answer the prelab questions. View the ChemPages module on the Gas Burner (see “Safety 2” in the Additional Topics) and see the appendix in the lab manual for additional information. Expect a prelab quiz.


Week 2:

Monday June 5, 2017: BRING GOGGLES and a long-form LAB COAT!!!!!!!!!!! (plus proper shoes, long pants, etc.—see dress code in the syllabus). You will take a Safety Quiz & the Basic Lab Techniques prelab quiz at the beginning of lab--please don't be late!! To prepare for the BLT quiz read the lab manual, answer the prelab questions, and view the ChemPages modules covering

·         Balance (and all Additional Topics)

·         Pipet, Volumetric

·         Bulb, Standard

·         Graduated Cylinder (Plus 100 mL in Additional Topics)

·         Scales (and the Self-Check Exercises in Additional Topics)

Reading, watching the movies, and answering the questions should be sufficient for you to glean the appropriate information. See the information at the top of this page for a link to the online version of ChemPages.

Tuesday June 6, 2017: Turn in the Safety Lab and the spreadsheet exercise (the spreadsheet will be three pages--the calculation page, the formula page, and the graph).
To prepare for lab,
read the "Paper Chromatography Lab", answer the prelab questions, and view the ChemPages module titled Chromatography, Paper (plus Self-Check Exercises). Expect a prelab quiz. Note that the Paper Chromatography lab has an abstract that is due with the lab report (due date: Thursday, June 8)--look over the appendix in the lab manual so you see what is involved with writing a scientific abstract. Here are some guidelines on writing your abstract for the "Paper Chromatography" lab:

The abstract should be one paragraph and no more. PLEASE read the rules for abstract writing (in the appendix) to reduce the number of errors and yes, spelling, grammar, and syntax are important parts of this assignment. Below is a grading key that will be used for your abstract. Click here for an easier-to-print version (will open as a pdf file).


Paper Chromatography abstract rubric

# of points


Heading including name, class, date, and title



Statement of purpose



Brief description of procedure—including, but not limited to:



--a list of ions being separated



--a list of chromogenic agents (names and abbreviations)



--solvent composition



Rf values of ions



Contents of unknown (including the unknown number).



Proper grammar



Follows Rules to Remember in Appendix p. Abstract 5-6 (1 pt/rule)

  1. Don’t use first person
  2. Don’t start sentence with a number
  3. Use past tense
  4. Write units correctly
  5. Be concise
  6. Use of weighed
  7. Don’t capitalize unnecessarily
  8. Writing numbers
  9. Subscripting and superscripting
  10. Don’t include experimental details such as beaker sizes, size of paper



Double spaced



Total points










A note on writing an abstract:

The process of composing a well-written abstract is a difficult one. It is not like a paper in English class where there is an expectation to be verbose. Abstracts are short and sweet. Scientific writing, in general, has many rules and a few of the more important ones are listed in your lab manual (with examples). Some of the more common errors made (but easily fixed) are:
(1) Capitalization of chemical names. Elements are not proper names, so capitalize them as any other non-proper nouns. Unless the element or compound starts a sentence, do not capitalize it. (Obviously, elemental symbols SHOULD have their first letter capitalized, but not their second letter.)
(2) Superscripts and subscripts. Applying the correct syntax to your chemistry writing is easy and important—the meaning of a number superscripted or subscripted can completely change the meaning of what you are writing. That means you need to put ionic charges as superscripts (e.g., Fe3+) and place subscripted numbers in chemical formulas (e.g., MgCl2).
(3) Avoid first person. In scientific writing, the emphasis should be on the science, not on what you, I, or we did. Avoid the use of these words.


Wednesday June 7, 2017: Turn in the "Basic Lab Techniques" report (pages 15-17) AND the spreadsheet. Be sure you include a formula page along with the normal spreadsheet calculations. Also, be sure you have rounded your values to the correct number of significant figures in your spreadsheet calculations. To prepare for lab, read the "Physical Properties Lab" and answer the prelab questions (no new ChemPages to view). There is NO prelab quiz.


Thursday, June 8, 2017: Turn in the "Paper Chromatography Lab" and abstract. Be sure you have included the chromatogram with your report. To prepare for lab, read the "Hydrogen Emission" lab, answer the prelab questions, and view the ChemPages modules on

Expect a prelab quiz.


Week 1:

Thursday, June 1, 2017: Bring the lab manual to class for the first day!! Also, bring a way to save a computer file (e.g., a USB drive) for use in the Smith computer lab (be sure you can log onto the USC Upstate computers (this is different than the log-in for USC Columbia!!)).

Before the first experiment on Monday June 5th, you must complete the Flinn Safety Course online. This consists of a series of videos and a quiz that you must pass with at least an 80% to be cleared for work in the lab. Click on this link and make an account (this is FREE, do NOT PAY, access has already been paid for you). You will need to put in TWO “Student Linking Codes”—for Summer 2017 use vlv9h (this pays for the account); then go back and put in this code to link it to CHEM 111L, zmqby. You can start viewing the videos right after you sign up.

Here’s a screen shot of the page to put in the TWO codes you’ll need to access the safety prep class (videos and quiz).

Before lab, look over the spreadsheet assignment so you are familiar with what you will be doing. You will be using spreadsheets a great deal during the semester (and in CHEM 112L) so you will need to be immediately proficient with them.