Is Chemistry Required in High School in Louisiana?
High schools students in Louisiana have a choice in which pathway they pursue toward a high school diploma. Once students enter Grade 10, they can choose between the following:
TOPS UNIVERSITY DIPLOMA — 4 credits in science
- 1 credit in Biology
- 1 credit in Chemistry
- 2 elective credits which may include Chemistry II, AP Chemistry, IB Chemistry I, IB Chemistry II, or Chemistry II: Cambridge AICE—AS (Honors)
CAREER DIPLOMA — 2 credits in science
- 1 credit in Biology
- 1 elective credit which may include Chemistry I, AP Chemistry, IB Chemistry, or Chemistry II: AICE—AS (Honors)
- Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level and the composition of the nucleus of atoms.
- Clarification Statement - Physical Science: Examples of properties that could be predicted from patterns could include metals, nonmetals, metalloids, number of valence electrons, types of bonds formed, or atomic mass. Emphasis is on main group elements. Chemistry: Examples of properties that could be predicted from patterns could include reactivity of metals, types of bonds formed, numbers of bonds formed, atomic radius, atomic mass, or reactions with oxygen. Emphasis is on main group elements and qualitative understanding of the relative trends of ionization energy and electronegativity.
- Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
- Clarification Statement - Physical Science: Examples of chemical reactions could include the reaction of sodium and chlorine, carbon and oxygen, or hydrogen and oxygen. Reaction classification includes synthesis, decomposition, single displacement, double displacement, and acid-base. Chemistry: Examples of chemical reactions could include the reaction of sodium and chlorine, carbon and oxygen, or carbon and hydrogen. Reaction classification aids in the prediction of products (e.g. synthesis, decomposition, single displacement, double displacement, and acid-base).
- Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the macroscale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
- Clarification Statement - Emphasis is on understanding the strengths of forces between particles, not on naming specific intermolecular forces (such as dipole-dipole). Examples of particles could include ions, atoms, molecules, and network solids (such as graphite). Examples of macro-properties of substances could include the melting point and boiling point, vapor pressure, and surface tension.
- Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
- Clarification Statement - Emphasis is on the idea that a chemical reaction is a system that affects the energy change. Examples of models could include molecular-level drawings and diagrams of reactions, graphs showing the relative energies of reactants and products, and representations showing energy is conserved.
- Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
- Clarification Statement - Student reasoning should focus on the number and energy of collisions between molecules. Emphasis is on simple reactions in which there are only two reactants; evidence from temperature, concentration, and rate data; and qualitative relationships between rate and temperature.
- Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium.
- Clarification Statement - Emphasis is on the application of Le Chatelier’s Principle and on refining designs of chemical reaction systems, including descriptions of the connection between changes made at the macroscopic level and what happens at the molecular level. Examples of designs could include different ways to increase product formation including adding reactants or removing products.
- Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
- Clarification Statement - Physical Science: Emphasis is on using mathematical ideas to communicate the relationship between masses of reactants and products as well as balancing chemical equations. Chemistry: Emphasis is on using mathematical ideas as they relate to stoichiometry to communicate the proportional relationships between masses of atoms in the reactants and the products, and the translation of these relationships to the macroscopic scale using the mole as the conversion from the atomic to the macroscopic scale. Emphasis is on assessing students’ use of mathematical thinking and not on memorization and rote application of problem-solving techniques.
- Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay.
- Clarification Statement - Physical Science: Emphasis is only on simple qualitative models, such as pictures or diagrams, and on the scale of energy released in nuclear processes relative to other kinds of transformations. Radioactive decay focus is on its relationship to half-life. Chemistry: Emphasis is on simple qualitative models, such as pictures or diagrams, and on the scale of energy released in nuclear processes relative to other kinds of transformations. Emphasis is on alpha, beta, and gamma radioactive decays.
- Communicate scientific and technical information about why the atomic-level, subatomic-level, and/or molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.
- Clarification Statement - Emphasis is on the attractive and repulsive forces that determine the functioning of the material. Examples could include why electrically conductive materials are often made of metal, fireworks and neon signs are made of certain elements, flexible but durable materials are made up of long-chained molecules, and pharmaceuticals are designed to interact with specific receptors.
- Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
- Clarification Statement - Chemistry: Emphasis is on explaining the meaning of mathematical expressions used in the model. Focus is on basic algebraic expression or computations, systems of two or three components, and thermal energy. Physics: Emphasis is on explaining the meaning of mathematical expressions used in the model. Focus is on basic algebraic expression or computations; systems of two or three components; and thermal energy, kinetic energy, and/or the energies in gravitational, magnetic, or electric fields.
- Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
- Clarification Statement - Physical Science: Emphasis is on qualitative evaluations of devices. Constraints could include the use of renewable energy forms and efficiency. Emphasis is on devices constructed with teacher-approved materials. Examples of devices can be drawn from the chemistry or physics clarification statements below. Chemistry: Emphasis is on both qualitative and quantitative evaluations of devices. Constraints could include the use of renewable energy forms and efficiency. The focus of quantitative evaluations is limited to the total output for a given input. Emphasis is on devices constructed with teacher-approved materials. Examples of devices in chemistry could include hot/cold packs and batteries.
- Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperatures are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
- Clarification Statement - Physical Science, Physics, and Chemistry: Emphasis is on analyzing data from student investigations and using mathematical thinking appropriate to the subject to describe the energy changes quantitatively and conceptually. Examples of investigations could include mixing liquids at different initial temperatures or adding objects at different temperatures to water.
Does Louisiana Award High School Credit for Passing the AP Chemistry Exam?
Yes, students in AP courses can earn AP credit toward both their high school diploma and post-secondary degree programs. Each student with at least one AP score of 3 or higher will earn the maximum of 150 points toward the high school graduation index. Students who earn a 1 or 2 on an AP exam will receive 110 points toward the high school graduation index. Post-secondary institutions have their own criteria for awarding AP credit.