### Laboratory Skills and Outcomes for the First-Year Sequence

Last Update: January 9, 2012

At the end of the First-Year Sequence a student will have the indicated skills in the following areas.

**Laboratory Notebook**

- Comes to laboratory prepared for the day’s exercise (the statement of purpose, procedure and physical properties of reactants and products are written in the notebook, and the calculations outlined)
- Understands the importance of recording data and observations promptly, permanently and completely
- Able to organize data in the laboratory notebook so that it is easily understandable by others
- Able to evaluate data and the experiment from statistical results and a knowledge of chemistry
- Able to work from written and oral instructions

**Precision/Significant Figures**

- Understand the differences in measuring devices
- Apply significant figures to calculations
- Explain the difference between precision and accuracy, and understand the relationship between them
- Know and consistently apply the rules of significant figures in calculations
- Be able to calculate an average, percent error, standard deviation and a confidence limit for a data set using Excel, and relate these to the precision and accuracy of the measurement
- Understand that there is a difference between the uncertainty in a single measurement and the uncertainty in a set of measurements, the relationship of these to precision
- Appreciate the propagation of error, why it is important and be able to perform a propagation of error calculation given the appropriate formula

**Presentation/Summary of Data**

- Understand the components of a well-presented graph (title, axis labels, etc.)
- Be able to consistently prepare graphs that clearly and concisely present experimental results and theoretical fits both by hand and using Excel
- Able to perform a statistical analysis of data using a spreadsheet
- Will understand why data is summarized in a particular fashion
- Appreciate the importance of reproducibility in a measurement
- Appreciate the sources of experimental error
- Calculate a percent yield
- Calculate an
*R*_{f}value

**Use of Equipment/Glassware and Lab Techniques**

- Recognize basic glassware and equipment
- Able to properly light and adjust a Bunsen burner and appreciate the various temperatures in the flame
- Demonstrate an ability to use a magnetic stirring hotplate
- Properly use both top-loading and analytical balances with minimal spillage
- Demonstrate proper laboratory technique in dispensing both solid and liquid reagents
- Define a meniscus, and be able to read properly
- Correctly prepare solutions from solid reagents or by dilution using both volumetric (pipet, volumetric flask) or non-volumetric (beaker, graduated cylinder) glassware
- Understand when it is appropriate to use volumetric glassware and when it is not
- Able to perform gravity and vacuum filtration
- Collect products from a synthesis and perform basic characterizations of the products
- Understand that synthesis of a material also requires characterization
- Perform titrations using a buret
- Able to recognize whether a reaction has occurred
- Understand the necessity of segregated waste disposal and dispose of waste properly
- Know the basic safety rules for working in a laboratory and will conscientiously abide by these rules at all times
- Appreciate the difference between glass, plastic and quartz cuvettes for UV/Vis spectrometry
- Give Beer’s Law and be able to use
- Be able to construct a calibration curve and understand its importance in quantitative analysis
- Be able to use basic instrumentation (e. g., Spec 20, pH meter)
- Understand what chromatography is, how it works, and why it is used