Intro to Organic Chemistry
This introductory survey course will cover organic chemistry and relevant biochemistry. The cast of organic compounds is a virtual who’s who of chemicals, including foods, medicines, drugs, and cellular components. Their compositions and structures determine how they perform their functions. The course will cover the chemistry of carbon, functional groups, hydrocarbons, determining molecular structure via a variety of lab techniques, reaction mechanisms, and biochemicals. Organic chemistry is considered to be one of college’s most challenging and difficult science courses, and one aim of this course is to at least partially allay these notions prior to attending college.
Students will work both individually and collaboratively on homework, problem sets, and projects. Molecular modeling will be emphasized. During face-to-face sessions, we will visit Bay Area labs to get a taste of organic chemistry as it is practiced professionally and to learn the latest in “designer chemistry”, work collaboratively on problems, and educate one another via presentations about specific chemicals at a culminating event. Regular online meetings will take place for office hours and discussion sections.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of a high school chemistry course.
Jack Coakley -The College Prep School
Jack teaches chemistry, AP chemistry, and a semester-long organic chemistry elective at College Prep. In addition to belonging to several school committees, he is the senior class advisor and also coaches Cross Country and Track and Field at the school. Prior to coming to College Prep in the 1990s, Jack taught at El Cerrito High School, and had worked as a bench scientist in a Berkeley lab before getting into teaching. Jack is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in bacteriology and immunology, and did graduate work at Cal and San Francisco State University.
Watch Orgo Chem students make sense of chemical reaction mechanisms via a stop-motion animation: