CHEM410-001/2             Physical Chemistry Laboratory (CRN 21911/20424)                    Spring 2021

Synchronous Instruction TW 2-4:50, Hybrid Lab Contact TW 2-4:50 (1 credit hour)

Lab Schedule


Notebook, Post-labs and Lab Reports


Professor Maria C. Gelabert Artiles

803-323-4939 (voice messages go to e-mail)

Office Hours – Zoom: TW 9:30-10:30, F 3:30-4:30 or by appointment

No F2F appointments in Sims offices

University Competencies

Competency 1: Winthrop graduates think critically and solve problems. You will practice various levels of problem-solving, thoroughly analyze data, and use outside sources for further analysis.

Competency 2: Winthrop graduates are personally and socially responsible. You will practice standard chemical hygiene and safety protocols, signatures of scientific responsibility.

Competency 3: Winthrop graduates understand the interconnected nature of the world and the time in which they live. You will connect with other scientists with the understanding that good communication translates into effective science communication to the broader community.

Competency 4: Winthrop graduates communicate effectively. You will practice communication: data is recorded, analyzed, and written up into a report that contains numerical and written information.

Course Synopsis and Goals

In this laboratory course, experiments are completed that connect with the CHEM407 lecture material. Besides laboratory skills, techniques in data collection, error estimation and propagation, calculations, data presentation and scientific writing are practiced. Important corollary skills include keeping a clear, well-organized lab notebook and synthesizing all material into a comprehensive lab report.

Learning Outcomes and Products

Upon completion of this course, students will demonstrate their mastery with the following:

·      Clear pre-lab notes, experimental description and raw data;

·      Effective manipulation of data;

·      Appropriate assignment of errors and propagation of those errors;

·      Comparison of experimental results with accepted values and reference citation;

·      Reports that are clearly written, organized, with correct calculations and appropriate citations.

Required Materials

Spartan Student Edition, v. 8 ($25 with coupon code WINTHROP25)

Non-spiral composition book, 80-100 pp, lined or quadrille

safety goggles

Student Conduct Code

As noted in the Student Conduct Code: ''Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals.'' The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in Section V of the Student Conduct Code in the online Student Handbook.


Winthrop requires that all students adhere to safety practices that will minimize the transmission of COVID-19 within the campus community. Accordingly, students are expected to engage in social distancing and wear a cloth face mask while on campus. Failure to comply with this requirement in the classroom will result in dismissal from the current class meeting. Repeated violations will be reported to the Dean of Students as a violation of the Student Conduct Code. Students with conditions that prohibit the wearing of a face mask should discuss this with their instructor and/or contact the Office of Accessibility to arrange appropriate accommodations.

Note that masks are required, completely covering the mouth and nose, in the entirety of Sims. If you haven’t already, I urge you to familiarize yourself with Winthrop’s Return to Learn protocols. Let’s keep each other healthy and help Winthrop be a COVID-19 bubble!

Safety Rules

Safety goggles are required in the lab at all times, with gloves during lab work. Ensure that gloved hands never touch your face, and use only clean gloves (especially after handling chemicals) for computer keyboards or instrument surfaces. Face masks are required everywhere in Sims, and disposable face masks for the lab will be provided.

Students with Disabilities/Need of Accommodations for Access

Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education. If you have a disability and require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Accessibility (OA) at 803-323-3290 or Once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Disability Services, please inform me as early as possible in the semester.

Campus Resources for Online Learners

Students who are enrolled in hybrid/online courses are entitled to the same campus resources available to on-campus students. These resources included admissions counseling, library, student services, and recreational facilities. A list of these resources is provided in the Blackboard Tutorials & Campus Resources, found in Blackboard.

Communication Expectations

For a general course or content-related questions, please first check the “Ask the Instructor” forum to see if any other students have asked your specific question. In the spirit of a learning community, students are encouraged to help each other by responding to questions from other students. For personal messages to the instructor or another student, use email rather than the discussion forum.

Course Communication

1.    Plan to be “present” in the course by logging in at least 3-4 times weekly and completing all assignments by their due dates.

2.    It is essential that you use your Winthrop email account for communication in this course. I usually respond within 24 hours except during the weekends.

3.    If you have general questions that might be asked by other students, please use the “Ask the Instructor” forum. If another student poses a question there, and you know the answer, you are encouraged to respond. The quality of the learning experience will be better for all if we act as a learning community and support each other.

4.    When interacting with your fellow students online, in discussion forums, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, or email, remember to communicate with the same level of clarity, professionalism and respect that you would practice in face to face communication.

5.    If you are participating in a live video conference, present yourself in a professional manner, with attention to your voice clarity, sound quality, lighting and film environment.

6.    For backup purposes, compose messages and posts in a word processor, then copy and paste the message into the discussion or message.

7.    For private messages to the instructor or another student, use email and not public discussions.

Student Responsibilities in an Online Course

Many students find that responsibilities for online courses differ significantly from traditional courses. The following statements outline some of your basic responsibilities for this course, developed as hybrid/online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you believe you will have difficulty meeting these responsibilities, it is essential that we find a way to maximize your learning experience. Please be in contact with me about any challenges, and pledge the following:

1.    I will ask questions immediately if I don't understand instructions or due dates for assignments.

2.    I will organize my time in order to complete assignments in a thoughtful and on-time manner.

3.    I understand that failure of technology is not an excuse for turning assignments in late.

4.    I will review the technical support information in the Blackboard Tutorials & Campus Resources and Introduction modules, contacting support services as needed.

5.    I understand that there are other sources of technology for me to use if my primary source fails, such as libraries, campus labs, or friends' computers.

6.    I will participate fully in assignments by following the instructions, responding to my lab partners respectfully and completing my contributions on time.

7.    I will log in to class at least 3 times per week and spend an appropriate amount of time each week completing course materials.

Sims 305: Maintaining Low Entropy

Entrance and Exit Doors

For maximized physical distancing, the entry door is on the north side, with exit door is on the south side remaining locked. As possible for each experiment, a specific traffic direction will be established.

Documenting Waste

In this lab course, students are expected to dispose of waste. Does it belong in aqueous waste or organic waste? If you’re not sure, review general/organic/hygiene chemistry as needed and ASK before you use the wrong waste bottle. Estimate amounts and write down information on the sheets provided.

Maintaining the Lab

Pretend this is a job (actually, it is). Clean up any area you use. If you see anyone act irresponsibly, feel free to let me know confidentially. If I hear you’re a slacker independently from two people, we will be having a conversation.

Washing Glassware

Clean glassware is happy glassware – the people who use it next will also appreciate it. Wash well with hot, soapy water, rinse with distilled water and allow to dry. On the same theme, when you pick up a piece of glassware, don’t assume it’s clean.

Copyright Notice

The materials in this course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and for purposes associated with this course.  These materials may not be retained or further disseminated.

Syllabus Change Policy

I reserve the right to update and edit this syllabus as necessary, including assignments, the calendar, and policies. You will be notified immediately of any such changes.

Course Meeting Logistics

The pandemic response includes physical distancing in the Sims 305 lab; thus, the maximum capacity is 5 (including instructor). The A and B groups will check into lab at 2:00 and 3:30, respectively. Before each lab meeting, you are expected to watch the remote lab lecture, read the handout, and earn ≥ 80% on the Pre-lab Assignment/Quiz. Allow at least an hour for completing pre-lab activities. Anyone missing the respective quiz deadline receives an absence for any experiential portion, or about 1% against total course grade. Trust me: you won’t regret having this level of preparation. Please ensure maximized safety with over-the-top clarity about experimental procedures.


This course is defined by experiential learning. In order to receive a passing grade in course, you must not miss more than one experiment. If you miss a lab for any reason, you MUST contact me no later than 24 hours after your session; only under those circumstances may a makeup lab be scheduled. With the global pandemic and potential quarantines/isolation, makeup labs might be done remotely. To preserve the integrity of this experiential lab course, please ensure outstanding experimental clarity, in the event of remote makeup labs or mandated conversion to an online course.