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Accessible and Relevant

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The curriculum is fun and engaging and exceptional in its ability to “turn on” students of many different learning styles. Students with little interest in science enjoy learning about the practical aspects of chemistry: from the fluoride in our drinking water, to how it is we receive nutrition from our food. For students with a natural inclination for science, Conceptual Chemistry is a springboard to more advanced studies.

Conceptual Chemistry helps the student to make the connections between chemistry and his or her environment. As an example, consider the textbook cover. The front shows a campfire by a sunset and on the back is written the following:

How is a campfire connected to the Sun?
The heat of a campfire is a form of solar energy. How so? Deep within the Sun’s core, the element hydrogen is transformed into the element helium via the process of thermonuclear fusion, releasing massive amounts of energy that radiate outward into space. Some of this energy reaches Earth as sunlight, which photosynthetic plants use to transform carbon dioxide and water into high-energy carbohydrates and breathable oxygen. When wood burns, as in a campfire, the reverse chemistry occurs: carbohydrates and oxygen transform back to carbon dioxide and water, which rise into the air as shown on the cover of this textbook. Also released from the burning wood is radiant energy that originated within the core of the Sun.