Is Chemistry Required in High School in West Virginia?
Graduation requirements for high school students in West Virginia include 3 credits of Science, which shall include Physical Science (Grade 9), Biology or Conceptual Biology or AP Biology (Grade 10), one additional lab science course or AP science course. Each district sets its own graduation requirements and course offerings. Many schools are required to offer AP Science courses and chemistry-related electives.
Since West Virginia high schools follow the Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS), students will be required to learn about chemistry topics in their Physical Science course in Grade 9. For those who choose chemistry as one of their electives, the WV Chemistry Standards teach topics such as:
Structure and Properties of Matter
Students will 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.
Students will research and evaluate contributions to the evolution of the atomic theory.
Students will describe atoms using the Quantum Model.
Students will produce electron configurations and orbital diagrams for any element on the periodic table and predict the chemical properties of the element from the electron configuration.
Students will 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.
Students will investigate the solubility of various materials in water and determine experimentally the effects of temperature, concentration and vapor pressure on solution properties.
Students will 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.
Students will communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.*
Students will 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.
Students will predict the products, write and classify balanced chemical reactions including single replacement, double replacement, composition, decomposition, combustion and neutralization reactions.
Students will design a properly working electrolytic cell based on redox principles.
Students will compare and contrast the Arrhenius and Bronsted-Lowry definitions of acids and bases.
Students will compare methods of measuring pH:
- indicator papers
- pH meters.
Students will predict the product of an acid-base reaction.
Students will 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.
Students will 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.
Students will refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium.*
Students will use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
Students will generate mole conversions that demonstrate correct application of scientific notation and significant figures:
- mass to number of particles
- number of particles to volume
- volume to mass.
Students will perform calculations using the combined gas laws.
Students will perform the following “mole” calculations showing answers rounded to the correct number of significant figures:
- percentage composition
- empirical formulas
- molecular formulas
- formulas of hydrates
- mole-mole and mass-mass stoichiometry
- determination of limiting reactant
- theoretical yield.
Engineering Design (Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science)
Students will analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Students will design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Students will evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Students will use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.