Even if chemistry tormented you in high school or college, you can master its principles! In this course, you’ll gain a solid foundation in the basics of chemistry. Along the way, you’ll learn how everything that goes on in your body depends on a chemical reaction.
You’ll gain interesting insights about your body’s use of food, the role of isotopes in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, nutritional deficiencies, the importance of enzymes, and the function of many specific chemicals in your body. This course also prepares you for a health-related career or for success in a college chemistry course.
Learn about the three main states of matter (solids, liquids, and gases), where they are in your body, and how they change from one state to another. You’ll also learn about the particles that make up matter, the differences between elements and compounds, and physical and chemical characteristics of substances. Then, learn everything you need to know about energy — the ability to perform some sort of activity or generate heat.
Explore measurements in chemistry. We’ll focus on volume, length, mass, and density and compare the United States’ system of measurement with the metric system of measurement. You’ll learn why scientists and health care professionals primarily use the metric system and how to convert from one system to another. Then, learn about the structure of an atom. We’ll also talk about the difference between atoms and ions, and you’ll learn which subatomic particles can vary in number in the atoms of an element. We’ll end the lesson with a discussion of the use of radioactive isotopes in medicine.
Explore the organization of the Periodic Table of the Elements. We’ll talk about the three major classes of elements—metals, metalloids, and non-metals, and you’ll learn about their major characteristics. We’ll also discuss some specific elements and some of the roles they play in the function of your body. Then, we’ll cover four types of chemical bonds—true covalent, polar covalent, ionic, and hydrogen bonds. We’ll also talk about different ways that scientists represent molecules, and you’ll learn about molecular, structural, and electron-dot formulas.
Explore the language of chemical equations. You’ll learn how to interpret the letters, symbols, and numbers we use to write chemical equations. We’ll take the mystery out of balancing chemical equations, and we’ll go over a step-by-step method for balancing them yourself. Then, we’ll talk about the different factors that cause chemicals to react with each other, and you’ll learn how the temperature, physical nature, orientation, concentration, and pressure of the reactants affect the speed of chemical reactions. You’ll also learn about a concept called activation energy—the minimum amount of energy needed for a chemical reaction to occur.
Explore the topic of stoichiometry—the quantitative relationship between reactants and products. You’ll also learn about the importance of oxygen in your body and how it limits the amount of energy you can generate from the food you eat. Then, we’ll go over some basic information about solutions. You’ll learn the difference between solutes and solvents, and you’ll find out why chemists call water the universal solvent.
Review chemicals called acids, bases, and salts. You’ll learn about their behavior in water and about their unique characteristics. You’ll also learn about several disorders that may occur when the levels of ions get out of balance. Finally, we’ll go over four types of bioorganic molecules—carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (We recommend Firefox or Chrome).
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
Instructional material requirements:
- The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
WHEN CAN I GET STARTED?
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE EACH LESSON?
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
WHAT IF I NEED AN EXTENSION?
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.