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Honors Chemistry

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Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math score required

Prerequisites: Completion of Algebra I

Course Format: Individually paced

Course Length: Typically 6 months

Recommended School Credit: One academic year

Course Code: HCH

Course Description


This course is designed to help students understand the world around them by studying matter and the changes it undergoes. The course covers topics typically included in a high school chemistry course and prepares students to take AP Chemistry. The units include: Introduction to Chemistry; Atoms, Molecules, and Ions; Stoichiometry; Atomic Structure and Bonding; Gases, Liquids, and Solids; Properties of Solutions; Energy: Thermochemistry; Acids and Bases; and Organic Chemistry. Students use scientific inquiry to develop an understanding of complex chemical concepts via text, interactive web-based videos, problem-solving and applications. Laboratory activities are done at home using lab procedures included in the required lab kit. The lab component teaches students how to apply the concepts learned in the course to experimental situations. Knowledge is assessed through homework, practice problems, laboratory reports, discussion forums, simulations, and a comprehensive final exam. This course does not have any synchronous class meetings, but students may schedule one-on-one virtual meetings directly with the instructor to answer questions or concerns.

Videos from YouTube or other web providers may be present in this course. Video recommendations or links provided at end of videos are generated by the video host provider and are not CTY recommendations. 

Topics include:

  • Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
  • Stoichiometry
  • Atomic Structure and Bonding
  • Gases, Liquids, and Solids
  • Properties of Solutions
  • Energy: Thermochemistry
  • Acids and Bases
  • Organic Chemistry

Proctor Requirements

Proctor Requirements

A proctor is required for this course if the student’s goal is to obtain a grade. Please review Proctor Requirements for more details.

Materials Needed

A lab kit must be ordered directly from Quality Science Labs.

The Chemistry 9th Edition, by Steven S. Zumdahl, Susan A. Zumdahl e-book is accessible inside the online classroom; no purchase is necessary unless you prefer a hard copy of the book for reference.

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Unit 1: Introduction to Chemistry

  • Chemistry: An Overview  
  • Classification of Matter
  • The Scientific Method
  • Units of Measurement
  • Scientific Notation
  • Uncertainty in Measurement
  • Significant Figures
  • Learning to Solve Problems Systematically
  • Dimensional Analysis
  • Temperature
  • Density
  • Graphing

Unit 2: Atoms, Molecules, and Ions


  • Early History of Chemistry
  • Fundamental Chemical Laws
  • Dalton's Atomic Theory
  • Early Experiments to Characterize the Atom
  • Modern Atomic Structure
  • Molecules and Ions
  • The Periodic Table
  • Naming Simple Compounds

Unit 3: Stoichiometry 

  • Counting by Weighing
  • Atomic Mass and Atomic Mass Number
  • The Mole
  • Molar Mass
  • Problem Solving
  • Percent Composition
  • Empirical Formulas (Determining the Formula of a Compound)
  • Chemical Equations
  • Balancing Chemical Equations
  • Stoichiometry
  • Limiting Reactants
  • Water, the Common Solvent
  • Strong and Weak Electrolytes
  • Composition of Solutions
  • Types of Chemical Reactions
  • Precipitation Reactions
  • Reactions in Solution
  • Stoichiometry of Precipitation Reactions
  • Acid-Base Reactions
  • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
  • Balancing Oxidation- Reduction Reactions

Unit 4: Atomic Structure and Bonding

  • Electromagnetic Radiation
  • Nature of Matter
  • Atomic Spectrum of Hydrogen
  • Bohr Model
  • Quantum Mechanical Model
  • Quantum Numbers
  • Orbital Shapes and Energies
  • Electron Spin and the Pauli Principle
  • Polyelectronic Atoms
  • History of the Periodic Table
  • Aufbau Principle
  • Periodic Trends
  • Types of Chemical Bonds
  • Electronegativity
  • Bond Polarity and Dipole Moments
  • Ions: Electron Configurations and Sizes
  • Energy Effects in Binary Ionic Compounds
  • Partial Ionic Character of Covalent Bond
  • Covalent Bond Energies and Chemical Reactions
  • Covalent Chemical Bonds - a Model
  • The Localized Electron Bonding Model
  • Lewis Structures
  • Exceptions to the  Octet Rule
  • Resonance
  • The VSEPR Model

Unit 5: Matter - Gases, Liquids, and Solids and Properties of Solutions

  • Pressure
  • Gas Laws of Boyle, Charles, and Avogadro
  • Ideal Gas Law
  • Gas Stoichiometry
  • Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures
  • Kinetic Molecular Theory
  • Effusion and Diffusion
  • Real Gases
  • Characteristics of Several Real Gases
  • Intermolecular Forces
  • The Liquid State
  • Intro to Structures and Types of Solids
  • Structure and Bonding in Metals
  • Carbon and Silicon - Network Atomic Solids
  • Molecular Solids
  • Ionic Solids
  • Vapor Pressure and Changes of State
  • Phase Diagrams
  • Solutions
  • Energies of Solution Formation
  • Factors Affecting Solubility
  • Vapor Pressures of Solutions
  • Boiling-Point Elevation and Freezing-Point Depression
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Colligative Properties of Electrolyte Solutions
  • Colloids 

Unit 6: Energy: Thermochem, Kinetics, Equilibrium

  • The Nature of Energy
  • Present Sources of Energy
  • New Energy Sources
  • Enthalpy and Calorimetry       
  • Hess’s Law
  • Standard Enthalpies of Formation
  • Reaction Rates
  • Rate Laws: An Introduction
  • Reaction Mechanisms
  • A Model for Chemical Kinetics    
  • Catalysis
  • The Equilibrium Condition
  • The Equilibrium Constant
  • Equilibrium Expressions Involving Pressures 
  • Heterogeneous Equilibria       
  • Applications of the Equilibrium Constant      
  • Solving Equilibrium Problems
  • Le Châtelier’s Principle

Unit 7: Acids and Bases

  • The Nature of Acids and Bases            
  • Acid Strength 
  • The pH Scale   
  • Calculating the pH of Strong Acid Solutions  
  • Calculating the pH of Weak Acid Solutions    
  • Bases 
  • Polyprotic Acids           
  • Acid–Base Properties of Salts
  • The Effect of Structure on Acid–Base Properties
  • Acid–Base Properties of Oxides            
  • Strategy for Solving Acid–Base Problems:
  • Solutions of Acids or Bases Containing a Common Ion
  • Buffered Solutions
  • Buffering Capacity
  • Titrations and pH Curves
  • Acid–Base Indicators 

Unit 8: Representative Elements and Organic Chemistry

  • The Group 1A Elements
  • The Group 2A Elements
  • The Group 3A Elements
  • The Group 4A Elements
  • The Group 5A Elements
  • The Chemistry of Nitrogen
  • The Chemistry of Phosphorus
  • The Group 6A Elements
  • The Chemistry of Oxygen
  • The Chemistry of Sulfur
  • The Group 7A Elements
  • The Group 8A Elements
  • The Transition Metals: A Survey
  • The First Row Transition Metals
  • Chemistry of Carbon and the Carbon Family of Elements
  • Alkanes: Saturated Hydrocarbons
  • Alkenes and Alkynes
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrocarbon Derivatives
  • Polymers
  • Natural Polymers


Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

This course requires that the student use a web browser with the Adobe Flash plugin. Note that many tablets and handhelds (particularly the iPad) do not support Flash and cannot view the lessons.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom which can be used for instructor-student communication if the student has any questions about the course or curriculum. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch any recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.

Students must use Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill PDFs in this course. The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free.



CTY Online Programs Science - Comments and Feedback from Students, Parents, and Teachers



"CTY's Honors Chem has effectively helped me 'clear the hurdle' in several chem topics that I initially found to be very confusing and abstract, such as bonding hybridization and equilibrium constants. I felt my instructor was a great teacher; her explanations were both thorough and really helpful."

"It was a very good course; it covered an amazing amount of subject matter in a short amount of time very effectively. I learned a huge amount of chemistry while taking this course."

"Our son has been involved with JHU/CTY for six years; CTY has been very important in augmenting his education. CTY has enhanced him not only academically, but also from visioning what he can achieve. Thank you!"