Mark Twain International School

Chemistry Course Description

Chemistry is sometimes referred to as the “central science” as its principles underpin both the physical environment and the organisms that live in it. From ancient times, people cooked food using mixtures, extracted metals from ores and melted them to make alloys, or obtained perfumes and cures from plants. The alchemists of the Middle Ages wanted to convert lead into gold, to find a panaceum to cure diseases or the elixir of immortality.

There is no surprise that they did not achieve any of these high goals as desired but they put the basis of modern chemistry which created the pharmaceuticals that now cure many diseases thus prolonging life. Organic and inorganic chemistry developed materials in the last century which exceed the expectations of those pioneer chemists: the plastics that surround us, the alloys, of which, some imitate gold but most are used in constructions and technology, the colorants and preservatives for food industry, textile fibres, dyes for cars and homes and many others.

Then why study IB Chemistry?
Because you can become one of the people who work with these substances or even create new materials or because it is a prerequisite for Medicine.

Life Sciences, Engineering-it sounds too compulsory?!
Then it is because you simply want to acquire problem-solving skills, manipulative skills during experiments, analytical skills through collection and processing of data, communication skills applied in science literature etc.

SL students study 11 chapters Stoichiometric relationships, Atom structure , Periodicity, Chemical Bonding and structure, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, Redox processes, Organic chemistry and Measurement and Data Processing in 150 hours out of which 40 hours are for practical activities including 10 hours for G4 project and 10 hours for IA.

HL students gain a deeper understanding of the core chapters mentioned above when they study additional content grouped in 10 chapters with the same titles as all the core chapters, except for the first. Stoichiometry does not have a correspondent in HL material. They study all these chapters in 240 hours out of which 60 hours are for practical activities including 10 hours for G4 project and 10 hours for IA.

All Chemistry students are required to conduct an investigation of their own. They choose the topic, do the research, propose the research question, design the method, collect and process the data and draw the conclusion in a written report that is known as internal assessment (IA). The mark given by the teacher is moderated externally and weighs 20% of the final grade. The rest of 80% is represented by three written exams at the end of the 2-year course. The mark is awarded externally.(EA)

G4 project is addressed to all students taking experimental sciences. They work as a group in the classroom, in the lab or in the field to develop manipulative skills but also thinking skills as they do a hands-on activity on a common topic.

Lavoisier said “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed” to illustrate the law of conservation of mass.
Come and live a wonderful 2-year experience of learning IB Chemistry with us to see how this principle transforms you!

Teacher Cristina Rasnoveanu