Understanding Chemistry in Our World is an introductory chemistry course of 14 lessons designed for adult students who are non-science majors. The centerpiece for each lesson is a video from the award-winning video series, Understanding Chemistry in Our World. Each video explores a topic using a relevant case study to build understanding for the chemical foundations of everything students see and experience around us.
Each lesson includes a number of interactive games and practice activities that engage students and reinforce learning and the lesson ends with a quiz. Students explore individual topics through visits to various locations including:
- Lawrence Livermore Laboratories to see how covalent bonding is used to create designer molecules that treat disease.
- Hinckley, California to see discover how an ion, hexavalent chromium, contaminated groundwater supplies (and made Erin Brockovich famous).
- Yellowstone National Park to examine various types of chemical reactions.
- A sewage treatment plant to explore the difference between mixtures and solutions and their behaviors as wastewater is transformed into pure water.
- A doctor’s office to discover the role that acid/base chemistry plays in the development and treatment of gastrointestinal reflux disorder.
The textbook to accompany this course is Understanding Chemistry in Our World , written by Nancy Gardner, Byron Howell, Kenneth R. Ostrowski, and Einhard Schmidt with the support of a National Academic Advisory Team, and edited by Susan Wilcox. The textbook is also well-suited for a traditional, face-to-face non-majors course. Additional information is provided under the “How to Adopt Course & Print Materials” tab below. To request access to an electronic review copy of the textbook, please contact Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.
For access to Coast Learning Systems’ online course preview site, please complete a Preview Request Form.
Lesson Titles and Descriptions
1. Chemistry and the Amazing Table
This lesson will provide the framework for the rest of your study of chemistry. You will learn that matter is all around us, and chemistry helps us categorize matter in many different ways to serve our purposes. Whether we are creating new medications, striving to make our society more “green,” or simply trying to understand why water plays such an important role in our lives, chemistry helps us define the world.
Although many tools are used by chemists, it is the periodic table of elements (PTE) that drives our ability to organize the matter around us. From chemical and physical properties, to the states or phases of matter, or the relationship between matter and energy, to the atomic structure that we can’t see, chemists yearn to organize and understand and the periodic table is at the heart of this work.
2. Bonding: Atomic Glue
3. Ionic Compounds: Opposites Do Attract
4. Molecules: When Atoms Share Elecrons
5. Organic Molecules
6. Chemical Reactions: Atoms Find New Partners
- How to identify whether a chemical or physical change has occurred.
- How to classify chemical reactions into categories to help predict the outcome.
- How to calculate substances to ensure the necessary amounts of the ingredients are used and the desired amount of material is created.
Without knowledge of these three topics, life in our world would be very different since most of items we use everyday were created using principles related to these topics.
7. Energy Makes Things Happen
8. Gasses, Liquids, Solids: Going Through Phases
9. Solutions: Mixing It Up!
10. Rates and Equilibrium: Controlling Reactions
11. Acid/Base Chemistry: Proton Power
12. Electrochemistry: The Chemistry of Batteries
13. Nuclear Chemisty: Nature’s Power Pack
14. Biochemistry: The Chemistry of Life
National Academic Advisory Team
Byron Howell, Ed.D., Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator, SCRMCC, Tyler Junior College
William Nguyen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Santa Ana College
Ken Ostrowski, M.S.Ed., Professor of Chemistry, Coastline Community College
Ratna Pankayatselvan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dona Ana Community College (needs the accent over the “n” in Dona)
Bob Perkins, Ph.D., Professor of Organic Chemistry, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Richard Schwenz, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, University of Northern Colorado
Einhard Schmidt, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Santa Monica College
Joan Stover, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, South Seattle Community College
Edward Walton, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Science Education, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Rochelle Becker, Executive Director, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility
Kurt Berchtold, Assistant Executive Officer, California Regional Water Quality Control Board
Erin Brockovich, President, Brockovich Research & Consulting
Paul Buonora, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach
Norma Chavez-Nielsen, Owner, Churrolandia Bakery & The Funnel Cake Factory
Kim Christensen, B.S., Laboratory Supervisor, Orange County Sanitation District
David R. Cocker, Ph.D., Chemical & Environmental Engineer, and Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside
John Contario, Ph.D., Analytical Chemist, and Senior Pharmaceutical Consultant
Bill Cooper, President, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas
Rory Cox, California Program Director, Pacific Environment
Lea Crosetti, R.D., Registered Dietician, Kaiser Permanente
Veena Damle, M.D., Pediatrician, Kaiser Permanente
Shivaji Deshmukh, M.S., Program Manager, Orange County Water District
Imran Farooq, Project Manager, Green Valley Initiative
Mark Filowitz, Ph.D., Physical Chemist, and Associate Dean of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, California State University, Fullerton
Philip M. Fine, Ph.D., Atmospheric Measurements Manager, South Coast Air Quality Management District
Patrick Fleming, Ph.D., Physical Chemist, and Assistant Professor, San Jose State University
Nancy Gardner, M.S., Lecturer of Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach
Stanfield L. Gertler, M.D., Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente
Jacqueline Gervay-Hague, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis
Barry Gilman, B.S.M.E., Project Manager, Southern California Edison
Stacy Gleixner, Ph.D., Chemical & Materials Engineer, and Associate Professor, San Jose State University
Eric M. Goldin, Ph.D., Radiation Safety Specialist, Southern California Edison
Carol Grimes, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, Golden West College
Peter Gyulai, Ph.D., Chemical Engineer
Ingrid Hellebrand, Public Information Specialist, Orange County Sanitation District
Susan Jordan, Director, California Coastal Protection Network
Stephen Joseph, CEO, Ban Trans Fats
Felice Lightstone, Ph.D., Senior Computational Biochemist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Marco Lopez, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach
Brian McClain, Ph.D., Physical Chemist, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach
Laurie Melby, Coastline Community College
Stephen Mezyk, Ph.D., Physical/Environmental Chemist, Professor, Physical & Environmental Chemistry, California State University Long Beach
Craig Miller, Assistant General Manager, Orange County Water District
Bruce Mincher, Ph.D., Radiochemist/Research Scientist, Idaho National Laboratory
Joe Norbeck, Ph.D., Director of Environmental Research, CE-CERT, University of California, Riverside
Ken Ostrowski, M.S.Ed., Professor of Chemistry, Coastline Community College
Rodolfo L. Perez, Project Manager, Southern California Edison
Einhard Schmidt, Ph.D., Professor, Santa Monica College
Barry Sears, Ph.D., Author, The Zone, and President, Inflammation Research Foundation
A..J. Shaka, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine
Vince Signorotti, Vice President, Cal Energy Operating Corporation
Terry Thornsley, Artist-Sculptor, Thornsley Art Studio
Yushan Yan, Ph.D., Chemical Engineer, and Chair, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside
The Chemical Insight sections and the interesting tidbits of information in the margins are fantastic because they explain things in the real world that students would be familiar with, and possibly have wondered why they were so."
—Nicole Stevens, Brigham Young University
How to Adopt Course & Print Materials
The Online Course Request Form should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of your class.
Understanding Chemistry in Our World
Kendall Hunt Publishing Company
There are two ISBNs associated with this course.
1. Textbook (Printed): 978-0-7575-6017-0
2. Textbook (Electronic Delivery): 978-1-4652-1220-7
Online Course Access Code Sold Separately: ISBN TBD
Note: The textbook is well-suited for a traditional, face-to-face non-majors course.
If you are interested in licensing just the videos as a resource for your own online, hybrid, or traditional course, please contact our office. In areas where connectivity is a challenge, DVDs are a perfect solution. All of the video lessons are available in a professionally produced set of DVDs and are available directly from Coast Learning Systems. Please contact our office for DVD options and pricing, (800) 547-4748.