CHEM.1210: Chemistry I - Cunningham


Dr. David Cunningham

Office: OH 502A
Office Phone: 978-934-3659
Office Hours: M,W 11:30-12:30 or as arranged. Feel free to see if I’m in anytime.


To see the full syllabus click here.

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Educational Philosphy

Success in Chemistry requires persistent study and problem solving on topics before they are covered in lecture. Students learn best with a combination of reading, practice problems, homework, lecture, group problem solving and interactive discussion. Memorization does NOT work in chemistry, understanding fundamental principles and how they are related conceptually and mathematically is everything. Honesty and courtesy are essential elements of this course.


Plagiarism and academic integrity are taken seriously by this university. You, the student, are responsible for making sure you are honestly completing your work. If you have any questions, please review your class syllabus, speak to your professor, or review the university’s guidelines. The UML Library webpage on Academic Integrity has more information.

Photo by Kasia Beil

Welcome to Chemistry I with Professor Cunningham
UMass Lowell, Kennedy College of Sciences

Chemistry I provides an introduction to the basic concepts of chemistry through classroom discussions and demonstrations. Topics include chemical calculations, atomic structures, the periodic table, basic bonding theory, solutions, liquids, and gases. 

This course prepares students in the fundamentals of chemistry that will be applied in all other chemistry courses. Mastery of the topics presented in this course will prepare you to excel in subsequent chemistry, biology, and engineering courses.

Course Culture and Process

The class will include student-centered, learning environment of Process Education which requires the learner to take ownership of his or her own learning. The facilitator will be providing constant challenges to improve learner performance. Key processes are not just “covered” but extensively used throughout the course. These processes include various forms of assessment (self-assessment, peer assessment, structured reflections, instructor assessment, mid-term assessment, etc.) and specific learning processes such as information processing, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Language development is critical and students will be accountable for new terminology and vocabulary introduced during the class. Students should be able to rephrase definitions to key terms in their own words, and relate concepts to each other.

There will be numerous time-pressured learning activities. In addition, there will be cooperative learning activities that require participants to perform in front of team members and the class as a whole. There will also be situations for role-playing, articulating understanding to others, and working with others to solve problems. Communication is critical and you will be required to work to consensus and be able to summarize group discoveries.

Personal Benefits

By studying and solving problems in small groups you will learn to work cooperatively and effectively in a team environment, while enhancing the scope and perspective of your understanding of chemistry. By studying and working problems individually, you will assess your own performance and determine where to focus your study to prepare for exams, and for your own individual educational goals. This course is designed to maximize your understanding of the fundamental concepts of chemistry and their interrelationships. When you are successful at this, you will be able to apply these understandings to your other areas of study and professional work at a more expert and creative level.