Here are six videos for the Chem 130 Gas Laws experiment; best viewed in the order listed!








OCC Spring 2020 Semester
Chem 130


6 April 2020

I will be posting Announcements on Canvas from now on!

This website will remain up, but do not look for new postings here!


29 March 2020
Hi!  It's almost crazy time!  Here are the plans for the coming week.  Once we get through this first week back, I'll be more able to plan for future weeks.  It is critical and required that you check your Canvas accounts and OCC student email accounts Monday morning for additional information.  'See you' tomorrow!
24 March 2020
I had nothing new to report for a few days, but as the end of Spring Break is less than a week away, details are coming into focus.  The Chem department had a video conference call yesterday in which we discussed what we have been doing to prepare for next week, and sharing ideas for moving forward.  A couple themes which came from the meeting were we need to be flexible with you student, especially next week, and you need to be patient with us as initial plans may change and/or be refined when we see how our online instruction works.  Since OCC does not expect students to return to campus for the rest of the semester, our biggest concerns are labs and tests.  We are investigating 'virtual lab' software solutions, but so far none of them quite meet our needs.  As for tests, you can still expect a combination of multiple choice and written questions, where the 'written' portions will be upload as files to Canvas so I can read them online.  As for next week, do not expect any labs or tests.  Instead, we will all be coming up to speed on online teaching and learning.
We have another department meeting scheduled for this Friday, and I will post my final plans (subject to change!) for next week by Saturday.  In fact, look forward to changes as we settle in for the last eight weeks.
We heard that Student Services is planning to send all students an announcement regarding registration and enrollment options; watch for this important message.
20 March 2020
Hi!  I hope you are all staying healthy and sane during this time of isolation and self-quarantine.  Almost all faculty, staff, and administrators at OCC are busy preparing to resume classes.  These efforts range from our Chemistry department, to IT training, to our OCC college president (along with those at GWC and CCC), to the Chancellor's office, and at the state level.  For example, community colleges statewide are meeting with folks from the UCs and CSUs to talk about articulation agreements to make sure your courses will transfer okay.  I wanted to give you some idea of what you can expect in your Chem 130 class. 
First off, DO NOT come to campus March 30.  We will be shifting entirely to online instruction, even labs.  For now, I will ask that you be available at your computers at the regular times for your lecture and skills classes.  (If this is a problem for anyone, let me know ASAP!)  The first week or so I will make available pre-recorded lectures with the same look and feel of what you are used to, and I will be available at my computer during 'lecture' in case you have any questions about the material.  For the first couple lectures, I recommend emailing me.  As for the skills classes (and I'll be posting the remaining pages of the workbook on Canvas for you), I will try using conferZoom from within Canvas to set-up a realtime interactive conference where we discuss the latest workbook topics.  Personally, I am concerned that loads of faculty using conferZoom when we first return, and maybe there will be network overload issues.  Let's hope I'm wrong!  But this is why I don't want to try conferZoom initially for the lectures. 
As for the next lab, Prof. Vieau worked with the stockroom staff right before closing to take pictures of reagents and mixtures, and she put together a 'virtual' lab which I will also use.  What about other labs?  We don't know yet, other than that you will not be doing labs on campus.  As for Test 2 (online!?), I'll have something planned for the second week we are 'back.'  Or maybe not!  Things are very fluid right now.
Stay healthy!  And sane.  No cabin fever!
Here's a link to a message from the CCCD Chancellor FYI (not really geared to students, but you' are mentioned).
And here are a few memes to make you chuckle (you might be too young for the last one!).
And I still owe you some equation notes!
18 Mar 2020
Nothing new to report on the campus closure.
I just changed the due date on a couple of WileyPlus assignments from March 22 to April 5, the end of the week we are scheduled to resume classes.
I stll owe you some equation notes!
I will not give you Exam 2 the week we return, but I'd still like you take it.  So probably the week after classes resume, but we'll know better later next week.
As for the Lab Test, the Chem 130 instructors are emailing each other to make plans.
I'm going to do some shopping later; my sister tells me to expect a lot of empty shelves!
17 Mar 2020
Yikes!  The campus is now closed for everyone:

Orange Coast College Campus Closed

All Coast District campuses and facilities (CC, OCC, GWC, and District Office) are closed immediately through March 30. Faculty, management, and staff are to stay home. Faculty may continue work to prepare courses for alternative formats. Management should work from home to the extent possible. Classified and confidential staff are to await work instructions. This is out of an abundance of caution resulting from a suspected (unconfirmed) case of COVID-19 at OCC. Those potentially exposed have been contacted. Please communicate any questions or concerns by email to your immediate supervisor or dean. Additional communication will follow starting tomorrow.

It's St. Patrick's Day!  In the 'spirits' of the day, I'll be celebrating at home with an adult beverage!  ;-)
16 Mar 2020
I hope you are not planning to go to OCC today!  If you are, you really haven't been paying attention.  ;-)
I'm still kind of dazed and confused by the events of the last week, especially this past weekend.  In my 50+ years as a student and teacher, I have never experienced a suspension like this, and I believe this is true for almost all the faculty at OCC.  While you students are persona non grata on campus this week, the faculty, staff, and administration will be working to right the good ship OCC and have her ready to resume teaching in two weeks.
I wanted to share some of what we will be doing while you are gone.  This week, from Monday to Friday and from 8 am to 7 pm each day, 60 Canvas training sessions have been scheduled to help faculty (like me!) get their online game face on.  As a group, most faculty were not ready to shift to providing some course content online; we just didn't have the time or the training.  So for us faculty, this week is the time for us to learn and prepare for your return.  I'll be attending the six different classes offered, from basics to creating short videos.  You can grade me when you return!  ;-)
Now I can't assign work since you have no access to support on campus, but I will suggest things you can do to keep that chemistry in your brain from withering away.  My first suggestion is to finish the problems in your Skills Workbook, up to and including page 33.  The last few pages could be tough going since we didn't finish covering the topic in class, but any effort will help you.  And I will finish teaching stoichiometry when we resume classes.  I'll also post some notes on including acids and bases in your chemical equations.  We did not spend much time on this, and maybe you could use some additional examples.  Again, I'm not requiring you to read such notes, but they will help you complete the next lab faster!  Look for these notes tomorrow.  
Well, that's all for now.  I'll try to post at least once a day this week with progress reports.  Come next week, let's all take a break!
And feel free to email me with questions or concerns. 
15 Mar 2020 7:00 pm
It's official now: the campus is closed.  Please see the email we received (my red highlights).
(So I will not be posting any work for you.  Please check back periodically for messages about what we will do when we return.)

Sent on behalf of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.:


Dear Coast Faculty,


With a growing level of concern due to COVID-19, all onsite and online classes will be suspended beginning March 16 through March 20 out of an abundance of caution, followed by Spring Break the week after as planned. This will allow faculty to get the training and preparation they need to transition to online instruction for students. The sole exception to the suspension is Coastline College’s eight-week online military contract education program, which will conclude as scheduled.


While there have not been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Coast Community College District, all campuses and facilities are closed to students and the general public. These steps are being taken to protect the health and welfare of our students, employees, and the community out of an abundance of caution.


Classified staff and management are asked to report to work to finalize continuity plans and support faculty efforts to move classes online following Spring Break. Removing students and the public will dramatically reduce the number of people at our Colleges, allowing for increased social distancing for remaining faculty and staff.


These steps should give us additional flexibility with how we handle this quickly evolving public health emergency, and we should be in a better position to accommodate the needs of students and employees who have children or are at high risk (or have family members at high risk).


If you need to take leave for any COVID-19 related reason, please take care of these needs and communicate to your dean that this is due to the outbreak. For now, we must operate under existing policies and processes—including family and emergency leave. State and federal relief, currently being considered, may provide additional leave options in the very near future.


Your efforts are essential to educating students should the emergency continue. We look to your creativity and expertise in crafting ways to sustain our educational mission should the emergency extend past Spring Break. Please check your email for further information or go to for updates.





John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

15 Mar 2020 6:30 pm
I've heard that the District is about to close the campus, but who knows.  If it happens, I gotta write those guys an angry email for wasting my time.
In the meantime, here are my plans for Chem 130 if they don't close the campus:
Labs: DO NOT come to campus.  (includes Geragotelis and Piotrowski labs)
Skills: DO NOT come to campus.
Monday Lecture: DO NOT come to campus.
Wednesday Test: ??  I'm not sure right now; please continue to check back
For all these activities I will assign online and/or offline activities you should do at home.  
Of course, if they do close the campus, I'll post a new plan!
15 Mar 2020 4:45 pm
Dear Students: Expect a *major* announcement from me no later than 7 pm this evening.  The District hasn't decided whether to shit or get off the pot, so I'm making my own decisions.  More soon!
14 Mar 2020 3:30 am
I finally posted the KEYS to the Test 2 Worksheets.  Sorry for the delay; part of it was rewriting the keys to use the atomic weights I include in my Periodic Table on the test reference sheet.  Please let me know if you have questions or find any mistakes!  I also posted the handout on Qualitative Observations in the Pre-Labs section; you should print this out and bring it to the Chem Reactions lab next week.
What about next week??  Nothing has changed, although I am working on ways to reduce your time on campus and minimize your exposure to other people.  At a minimum, please plan on attending your lab section and the test on Wednesday.  I'll have more updates over the weekend.
(FYI: The Coast Board voted to give the Chancellor authority to close campuses, but he has not made any decision yet.  However, things are tightening up.  For example, we were notified that the OCDE is closing all K-12 public schools for two weeks.  This puts pressure on working parents who will now have children at home when they would normally be at school.  How will OCC personnel and students with kids handle this???  Could this be the straw that breaks the camel's back and closes OCC too?  I'll let you know as soon as I know!)
13 Mar 2020 10:30 am
I have nothing new to report on the virus front.  The current plan is still to meet next week for classes and labs as usual.
(There is a lot of speculation flying around, but we have to wait for official policy before making changes.)
The Final version of the Test 2 topics is posted below.  I finished writing the test, and updated the topics in red to (I hope!) fairly reflect what's on the test, especially for the written questions.  But please re-read the whole list to be thorough!  The split is 40% multiple choice (20 questions) and 60% written (8 questions).
I will be off to meetings soon, and will be tied up until 4 pm.  I'll post any news I learn after that, and will finish the worksheets for Test 2 KEYS.
Stay Healthy!  Stay dry!  And keep on studying!
12 Mar 2020 10:30 am
Worksheets to help you prepare for Test 2 posted below under 'Worksheets.'  KEYS tomorrow, and finalized Test 2 topics tonight.
12 Mar 2020 09:30 am
Dear Students: How we handle our class in the face of the virus is changing hourly.  PLEASE CHECK THIS WEBSITE FOR UPDATES AT LEAST 4 TIMES A DAY TO STAY CURRENT WITH THIS CLASS.  Especially check at 10 pm and at 8 am for any last minute schedule changes.  You'd hate to arrive on campus and find a note on the door that Mr. Frechen has gone fishing.  (And that's 'gone fishing,' not 'sleeping with the fish!')  The messages you might receive from the District or OCC administration are currently allowing instructors to manage the best we can, but want us to move to online instruction after Spring Break.  I'm working on that for lecture and the skills classes!  However, that doesn't work for labs, so labs will continue to meet as scheduled.  Also, we will have Test 2 next Wednesday as scheduled. 
So the immediate goal next week is to minimize contact time, but with labs and an exam, there is only so much minimization we can do next week.  Stay healthy!  And let your oblivious friends and classmates know to check this website (as I instructed you to do at least daily from day one!!).   
Oh yeah, please note I have added time stamps to let you know when I posted the message.
8 Mar 2020
OMG!  I'm in the middle of grading your binary compound nomenclature quiz, and I'm sorry to report that many of you struggled.  One section had seven 0/10 scores.  While skills class quizzes are not worth very much in the big picture, the 15-20% of nomenclature on the next exam will be worth a lot.  Please don't throw these points away!  Try to prepare better for your polyatomic ion and acid nomenclature quiz this week (which builds on your binary compound nomenclature knowledge).  The format will be the same: 5 formula to name, and 5 name to formula.  
Now, back to grading.
7 Mar 2020
Several new WileyPlus homewok assignments posted, all due Sunday, March 22.  This is after Exam 2, and before Spring Break begins!  Try to complete as much as you can before Exam 2.
Ployatomic ion and acids nomenclature quiz in the skills class this coming week.  
New posts below: Exam 1 answer key, consolidated key for binary compounds quizzes (under Worksheets), and a Draft of topics for Exam 2.
1 Mar 2020 (second post!)
I've posted the nomenclature key under worksheets, and two 'new' lecture files.
1 Mar 2020
The due date for ch 3 WileyPlus homework has been changed to Mar 8 since we did not finish the chapter in lecture last week.  The goal this week is to finish chapters 3 and 4, and then start looking at chemical reactions and equations.  This is a major topic for the next test!  
Look for new notes posted by this evening.  And spend some extra time with this week's pre-lab (Peridoic Trends); it's a challenging lab.
23 Feb 2020
To better coordinate the topics in lecture, lab, and skills classes, I am changing the order of some of the lecture topics.  So starting Monday (Feb 24), we will begin chapter 6 on chemical nomenclature, and then finish ch 3 and look at ch 4 on Wednesday.  Chapter 5 will probably be pushed back a week or two. 
I have published the Canvas site for the class, but there ain't much to see yet!  I'll be uploading some scores later today, and will arrange with Profs. Geragotelis and Piotrowski to have them upload your safety quiz scores.  My goal is to have all scores and grades reported in one place, the lecture module on Canvas.
22 Feb 2020
We will have a one-problem, 5-minute quiz on dimensional analysis and unit conversion in the skills classes this week.  A very good place to review and practice is the Skills Workbook, pages 14-16.  You can also start to work on more nomenclature material, especially memorizing the polyatomic ions at the lower right of the memorization sheet.  For each ion, like PO43-, you need to know the formula (PO4), the charge (-3), and the name (phosphate).  This is why I gave you the flashcards!
More important messages tomorrow (Sunday), so check back then!
14 Feb 2020
WileyPlus hw assignments have been updated (ch 2 extended, ch 3 assigned).
BTW, I noticed that not all students in the class have subscribed to WileyPlus.  I encourage evryone to do so!  Not only is the online hw worth 10% of your grade, it provides good practice come exam time.
A couple reminders: I will provide a periodic table (no names!) and temperature conversion formulas on the test, but I will not provide the density formula (d = m/V) or the percent composition formula (% composition = (part/whole)*100%.)
13 Feb 2020
Exam 1 study topics and the Scantron you need for the exam are posted below under 'Test Prep.'
I will post Chapter 3 WileyPlus homework later today, and also change the Chapter 2 due date to Monday night instead of Sunday.
9 Feb 2020
Chapter 3 lecture notes have been posted.  WileyPlus homework for chapter 2 has been posted at the WileyPlus website.  Lots of questions!  Do some every day!  First lab this week; complete and submit the 'Measurements' pre-lab assignment to be allowed to do lab.  I also reccommend bringing the rest of the pre-lab for reference.
  Don't forget your goggles!  And bring a pen, pencil, and calculator to lab.
Finally, we'll have a short quiz at the beginning of the skills class on element names and symbols from the memorization sheet: 5 symbols to names, and 5 names to symbols.
2 Feb 2020
Prelabs have been posted at the bottom of this page.  The first WileyPlus homework (Chapter 1) has been assigned.  Canvas page has not been published yet; waiting for the scores from this week's Safety Quiz.  Here is an information page on ordering safety goggles for lab since the bookstore may take too long.  If you get reimbursed only for purchases from the bookstore, contact me.  You must have your safety goggles starting the third week!

Old Messages

email me at


Stuff to Memorize
Nomenclature Flashcards
Safety Rules

Test Prep

Exam 1 topics
Exam 1 KEY  
Exam 2 topics    this is the FINAL version 
Scantron for lecture exams  (you'll need four of these for the semester)

Skills Advice

Reading/Note Taking          Studying          Problem Solving          Taking Exams          Time Management
Polya classic advice on solving problems; useful for Chem 130, to graduate school, to infinity, and beyond!

Lecture Notes

Chapter 01
Chapter 02
Chapter 03
Chapter 06    Yes-we are going out of order!
Chapter 04
Chapter_misc   NEW: material on chemical equations and stoichiometry from various chapters
Periodic_Trends_lab_info   NEW: a look at topics for the Periodic Trends lab


Nomenclature_key   NEW: answer key for pink nomenclature worksheets
KEY to consolidated binary compound nomenclature quizzes
Test 2 prep worksheets     KEYS    the worksheets will give you practice on Test 2 topics


Print out and answer questions before lab. You cannot start lab without handing in the completed questions page.  You should bring bring the entire pre-lab to the lab for reference

Periodic Trends
Chem Reactions        Qualitative Observations Handout  print out and bring to Chem Reactions lab!!