Basic Chemistry Review

Thomas Meixner, University of Arizona

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This assignment reviews basic of chemistry for students who should have had 2 introductory semesters of basic chemistry prior to enrolling in the Fundamental of Water Quality course for which the assignment is used. Assignment reviews basic equation balancing and questions about valence and concentration conversion that students will confront regularly in any geochemistry course.

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The Fundamentals of Water Quality is taught to Senior undergraduate and first year graduate stuents. Most are enrolled as Hydrology majors but environmental science, geology and engineering students regularly enroll.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Basic math and familiarity with fundamental concepts of chemistry

How the activity is situated in the course

First assignment on first day of class to shake the rust off of the students brains related to chemical concepts.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Get students to think about aspects of concentration units, balancing equations and valence.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Not much higher order.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description and Teaching Materials

Assignment has student walk through various equation balancing, concentration unit conversion problems so prepare them for uses of chemical concepts throughout course.

Review of Chemical Concepts (Microsoft Word 30kB Apr30 13)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Students regularly struggle with concentrations presented as N as Nitrate or Se as selenate


I look for weak spots in understanding chemical concepts of valaence, stoichiometry and concentration units so I can review them with class.

References and Resources