FOSS Course Summary

Course Summary – Chemical Interactions

Chemistry is the systematic unveiling of the nature of matter—its properties, composition, and structure—and the energy dynamics that accompany matter transformations. Chemistry is also the intellectual process of uncovering the nature of matter and energy, which contributes to an ever-expanding body of chemical knowledge. In the FOSS Chemical Interactions Course, students explore the anchor phenomenon of interactions of matter. The driving question for the course is how does matter interact?

The earliest analysis of the composition of matter was at once simplistic and sophisticated. Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Greek philosophers held that everything was composed of four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. In time this four-element model was pushed aside as more-compelling models gained acceptance. But the idea that basic substances, combined in certain proportions, produce all the forms of matter on Earth was sound.

Today, we understand matter on Earth to comprise 90 elements. We accept that the nature of matter depends on the number and arrangement of atoms of those elements and the particular energy load carried by that association of atoms at a particular time.

So, we know it all? Hardly. The frontiers of chemistry, like most of science, are active, and like all interfaces between the known and the unknown, chemistry is exciting for those prepared to confront the challenges.

For a description of each investigation in Chemical Interactions and the correlations to the Next Generation Science Standards, download the Chemical Interactions Course Overview PDF.

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