Chemistry of Life Laboratory--CHEM 1021

CHEM 1020 and 1021 together (4 credit hours) satisfy a General Education Natural Science requirement. This course will not be credited toward a major in any of the physical, biological, or engineering sciences, nor mathematics.

Co-requisite or Prerequisite: CHEM 1020
Note: Separate grades are assigned for lecture (1020) and laboratory (1021).

Course Description: Experiments and experimental techniques in organic and biochemistry.
Two laboratory hours per week; 1 credit hour

Textbook and other materials:

  • R. L. Petersen, M. Cook; Chemistry 1021 Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory Manual
  • Safety goggles
  • Padlock, matches, sponge, liquid detergent, and towel

Course Objectives:

  • To introduce students to the basic concepts of organic and biochemistry through the use of laboratory experiments; to give students a general understanding of the experimental basis for science; to meet the guidelines of the General Education Program for an introductory laboratory science course. Students will learn to observe, collect and record data while performing basic chemical experiments. They will learn to manipulate laboratory data to obtain results/information about the topic of each experiment. They will learn how to report the results of experimental observations and data manipulations.

Course Outline: Experiments cover the following topics:

  • Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry
  • A Comparison of Physical and Chemical Properties of Hydrocarbons
  • Alcohols, Aldehydes, Ketones and Phenols
  • The Conversion of Methyl Salicylate into Acetylsalicylic Acid
  • Triglycerides and Soap
  • Amines and Amides
  • Identification of an Unknown Carbohydrate
  • Proteins
  • Hydrolysis of Starch by Salivary Amylase
  • Deoxyribonucleic Acid

Grades: Students must attend weekly laboratory sessions and hand in acceptable laboratory reports. Overall grade will be based on 10 individually graded reports (75%) and two laboratory examinations (25%).


  • Appropriate clothing, including safety goggles, and attention to safety are required in the laboratory at all times.
  • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be made for students who present a memo from Student Disability Services.

Instructor Homepages
Dr. Richard Petersen

On-line Resources

None at this time.