Maryland Requirements for Passing High School Chemistry | General Chemistry 1

Is Chemistry Required in High School in Maryland?

Maryland high school students will need to complete 3 credits of organized instruction which includes a  laboratory component engaging in the application of the science and engineering practices, the crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas including Earth/space science, life science, physical science (chemistry and physics), and engineering, technology,  and applications of science, and aligned to the Maryland High School Assessment for science. 

Additionally, students in Grade 11 are required to take the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA). Topics covered in the MISA include many different chemistry concepts covered in Maryland High School Science Standards, such as Montgomery County School District’s science curriculum:

Diversity of Elements

How do particles combine to form the variety of matter one observes? What forces hold nuclei together and mediate nuclear processes? What mediates nuclear processes? If energy is conserved, why do people say it is produced? Other than light, what forms of electromagnetic radiation are there?


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 of atoms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of properties that could be predicted from patterns could include reactivity of metals, types of bonds formed, numbers of bonds formed, and reactions with oxygen.] 


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: Examples of chemical reactions could include the reaction of sodium and chlorine, of carbon and oxygen, or of carbon and hydrogen.] 


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: 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.] 

Chemistry of Everyday Objects

Everything is made up of tiny particles called atoms. These atoms make up over 100 elements that combine to make compounds, molecules, and substances. Chemists can sort these substances according to their physical and chemical properties and determine which state of matter they are in: solid, liquid, or gas. More importantly, chemists look at how items are put together and how they react with one another. The focus of chemistry is how the chemical reactions, or changes, take place. We can also look at whether physical or chemical changes occur.

Water Moving Matter

How do the forces between molecules vary with the type of molecules in a substance? What factors affect solubility? How do the properties and movements of water shape Earth’s surface and affect its systems? How do people model and predict the effects of human activities on Earth’s climate?


Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale 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 networked materials (such as graphite). Examples of bulk 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.] 

Chemical Reactions

How do substances combine or change (react) to make new substances? How does one characterize and explain these reactions and make predictions about them? How can one explain the structure, properties, and interactions of matter? What is the process for developing potential design solutions?


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: Emphasis is on student reasoning that focuses on the number and energy of collisions between molecules.] 


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: Emphasis is on using mathematical ideas 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.] 

Acidic Drainage: Students represent a team hired by the Montgomery Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to remedy the effect of AMD in your region. Their team’s task is to use your understanding of chemical reactions and properties of matter to design an investigation to model a remedy to an effect of AMD to support healthy drinking water. Their investigation will model what might happen to stream water contaminated with AMD to become suitable for drinking water.