MA in Chemistry Areas of Study

WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5–12, Chemistry)

The WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5–12, Chemistry) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The M.A. in Science Education (5–12, Chemistry) program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.

General Science Content

General Chemistry I and Lab
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.

General Chemistry II and Lab
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include the gaseous state, the solid and liquid states, aqueous solutions, acid-base models, oxidation-reduction reactions, reaction rates and equilibrium, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to analyze chemical processes in real-world contexts.

Pre-calculus and Calculus
Pre-calculus and Calculus provides instruction in pre-calculus and calculus and applies them to examples found in both mathematics and science. Topics in pre-calculus include principles of trigonometry, mathematical modeling, and logarithmic, exponential, polynomial, and rational functions. Topics in calculus include conceptual knowledge of limit, continuity, differentiability, and integration.

Chemistry Content (Grades 5-12)

Physical Chemistry
This course introduces the study of chemistry in terms of physical concepts. It includes thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, and matter.

Inorganic Chemistry
This course introduces the concepts of inorganic chemistry—the branch of chemistry that studies the properties and behavior of any compound avoiding a specific focus on carbon. It will focus on the three most important areas of inorganic chemistry: the structure, properties, and reactions of various groups of inorganic compounds.

Climate Change
This course explores the science of climate change. Students will learn how the climate system works; what factors cause climate to change across different time scales and how those factors interact; how climate has changed in the past; how scientists use models, observations and theory to make predictions about future climate; and the possible consequences of climate change for our planet. The course explores evidence for changes in ocean temperature, sea level and acidity due to global warming. Students will learn how climate change today is different from past climate cycles and how satellites and other technologies are revealing the global signals of a changing climate. Finally, the course looks at the connection between human activity and the current warming trend and considers some of the potential social, economic and environmental consequences of climate change.

Organic Chemistry
This course focuses on the study of compounds that contain carbon, much of which is learning how to organize and group these compounds based on common bonds found within them in order to predict their structure, behavior, and reactivity.

Biochemistry
This course covers the structure and function of the four major polymers produced by living organisms, which are nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. There is a heavy focus on application in this course of study. Students will gain an introductory understanding of the chemicals and reactions that sustain life.

Chemistry: Content Knowledge
This course provides advanced instruction in the main areas of chemistry for which secondary chemistry teachers are expected to demonstrate competency. Topics include matter and energy, thermochemistry, structure, bonding, reactivity, biochemistry and organic chemistry, solutions, nature of science, technology and social perspectives, mathematics, and laboratory procedures.

Science Education

Science, Technology, and Society
This course engages students in the study of the nature, processes, and applications of science and technology and arms them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand explain important science concepts. The course addresses the historical evolution of scientific ideas, scientific inquiry, as well as how science is used to inform decision making on current issues.

Science Teaching and Learning
This course focuses on how to teach science and on preparing preservice science educators to teach science in a way that is accurate, current and engaging. Topics include models for teaching science through inquiry, evaluation of alignment to standards, effective use of learning communities, formative assessment strategies, and safety responsibilities.

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