Honors Chemistry
Chemistry CP
AP Chemistry
Test Success
About Dr. V.

Chemistry CP

Chemistry CP provides students with a comprehensive study of the nature of matter and the changes it undergoes.  This course is appropriate for most college bound students.   This website is provided for the convenience of students in Chem CP with Dr. V or Ms. Nilan.   The website is being continually updated to reflect changes to the course. Topics studied in this course include atomic theory, chemical bonding, periodicity, nuclear chemistry, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, gases, kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base theory, and oxidation-reduction.  Through a combination of laboratory experimentation, hands-on activities, and cooperative learning strategies, students gain an understanding of physical phenomena and improve their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.   This course draws extensively on students' knowledge of algebra, with an ongoing mathematical and quantitative component. The material requires students to continually build upon previously acquired skills--so  students are encouraged to keep up with the steady pace of the class and come in for extra help any time.


Textbook:  World of Chemistry

Questions?  Need help?      Email Dr. VanderVeen 

Students are not allowed to use graphing or programmable calculators during classroom tests.  (This will be strictly enforced.)  If you need advice on selecting or using a suitable calculator, ask Dr. VanderVeen or Ms. Nilan for extra help before the test. (Don't waste valuable test time learning how to use your calculator.)

Most of the files on this site are presented in Adobe PDF format. 

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Useful Links

Additional links are available by viewing the assignment sheets for each unit.

Current Unit

  • Modern Atomic Theory (Chapter 11)--Ideas about the structure of matter have changed considerably over the centuries.  Why, the current model of the atom is only about 100 years old!  In this unit, we will become familiar with important experiments done by famous scientists, whose work helped us better understand the nature of the atom.  We will also learn about the detailed arrangements of the subatomic particles, particularly electrons, in atoms and ions.



Having some difficulties?  Need extra practice, but you don't want to hire a tutor?  Check out the  Chem 1 Concept Builder, offering guided, interactive, and in-depth instruction..  It's now a free download.

General Course Information





SENIORS:  Thinking of asking Dr. V for college recommendations?  You should make your request, including this completed questionnaire, as soon as possible.

What's the Molecule of the Week? Find out from the American Chemical Society.

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Upcoming Units

Measurements and Calculations (Chapter 5)--In this unit, we are introduced to the organization of matter (elements vs. compounds, atoms vs. molecules, pure substances vs. mixtures).  We also learn about accuracy and precision in scientific measurements and the application of significant figures.  Students are responsible for learning the names and symbols of key elements. 



  • Nuclear Chemistry (Chapter 22)

      Following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused catastrophic breakdown of Japan's  Fukushima nuclear power plant, many countries are reconsidering use of nuclear power as an energy source.  The potential downsides of nuclear energy are obvious, but  are there any other uses for radioactivity?    In this brief unit, we will consider the factors that make for unstable nuclei--and what then happens to those radioisotopes.  We will learn to write balanced nuclear equations and solve radioactive dating problems.    We will also learn about the many applications of nuclear chemistry.

Periodic Trends (Chapter 5)- Chapter 5 provides a link between atomic structure and reactivity of the elements.  We discover the regular and repeating patterns in the giant mnemonic device known as the periodic table. 
  • Chemical Bonding (Chapter 6) - Why do atoms combine to form compounds?  What are the different ways they can combine chemically?  What are the different shapes that simple molecules can adopt?  We  explore these questions using a variety of hands-on learning strategies.

Thermochemistry (Chapter 13) - In this unit, we focus on the heat changes involved in chemical and physical changes.  We will learn to write thermochemical equations and use them to solve Hess' Law problems.  Laboratory experiments will reinforce our knowledge of heating/cooling problems, phase changes, and problem solving strategies.  We will also introduce the concepts of heat of reaction, potential energy diagrams, and reaction spontaneity.

Reaction Kinetics--In this brief but focused unit, we are studying the factors that affect the rate of chemical reactions.  We will learn to measure reaction rates directly and use collision theory to explain our results.


Term 4 Project:  Nutrition Public Service Announcement

Equilibrium--In this unit, we learn about different situations that result in chemical equilibrium.  After exploring the definition of equilibrium from various viewpoints, we learn about stresses to equilibrium systems and how they respond.  We also learn to quantitatively evaluate equilibrium positions through the use of equilibrium constants.


Acids and Bases--Sour lemons, the bitter taste of soap--we are all familiar with everyday examples of acids and bases, but what makes an acid an acid?  Why are acids so different from bases?  What's the deal with pH?  In this unit, we will learn about two different theories about acids and bases and extend our knowledge of the pH scale.  We will also explore acid-base neutralization reactions and titrations.   There's some stoichiometry involved, so be ready!


  • Equilibrium II 

In this mini-unit, we will further explore applications of equilibria processes for solutions of sparingly soluble solids and for acids and bases. 

Past Units

Classification of Matter 






Notes on Properties of Matter (Powerpoint)




WEBCAST:  Classification of Matter  

WEBCAST:  Properties of Matter  


Atomic Theory (Chapter 3)


Ancient Ideas on Atomic Theory (Powerpoint presentation)

Structure of the Atom Adobe PDF icon




Chemical Names and Formulas (Chapter 4)  Learning to write correct formulas and the corresponding names of compounds is an essential skill in chemistry, which can take a lot of practice to master.  We will also learn two ways to communicate the composition of a compound:  percent composition and empirical formulas.  We are not following the sequence of the textbook in this unit.


  • Chemical Reactions (Chapters 6 & 7) - In this chapter, we learn how to write balanced chemical equations, to show conservation of mass.  We also learn to classify reactions according to five basic types, which makes it possible to predict reaction products.  We will also introduce redox reactions.  Finally, we use the activity series and solubility tables to learn more about individual reactions.


  • Science Fair

All chemistry students are encouraged to participate in the annual Science Fair.  Project propoals are due to Dr. V by October 29th! 

        Science Fair Proposal Form

        Science Fair Report Instructions

This page was last updated on 03/10/2017

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