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If this is your first IUHS 'Independent' course, welcome! If you have experienced this type of learning before, I hope it was rewarding. Science 21P is an introduction to the study of physical science with an emphasis in the area of chemistry. Whether you have an aptitude for science or not, I hope you will enjoy and be enlightened by this brief survey of chemistry.

IUHS Independent courses require you to read, search, and learn independently. It is important that you be aware that reading the Discussion section is a key part of each lesson. Be sure to contact your instructor and ask questions about any items or topics in the discussion that were difficult for you. This practice will allow your instructor to better understand any problems you may be having. It will also allow you to gain a better understanding of the course.

This course introduces you to topics that are part of a more in-depth study in a classroom course in beginning chemistry. Physical science requires mathematics to explain some phenomena. So Science 21P requires some basic mathematics for conversions in the metric system and in the solution of simple equations.

Chemistry deals with matter and its interactions. As you study it you should improve your critical thinking skills and, as a result, become a better problem solver. Chemistry is important in our lives in so many ways. The reading in this course will make you more aware of its relevance in everyday life. This reading should also help you become more knowledgeable as you read or listen to news reports about recent developments in areas ranging from nuclear energy to your own nutrition.

Browsers and Math Fonts

This course is designed to work best in the Mozilla Firefox browser. Many of the math symbols throughout this course may not display correctly in other browsers, particularly the Chrome browser. Make sure you are using the latest version of Firefox, available as a free download at

To view this course properly, you will need to have MathML fonts installed. If you do not already have these installed, you will get an error message letting you know. You can find the fonts at this website: Fonts for MathML-enabled Mozilla.