Chemistry Prep


Chemistry Prep for Summer 2024

Teacher: Mark Kernion

Email: mkernion@gmail.com

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The purpose of the course is to provide students planning on taking AP Chemistry through PA Homeschoolers, other homeschooling organizations, brick-and-mortar high schools, and even upcoming college freshmen, with a focused and interesting review of the prerequisite knowledge required for success in AP (or first-year college) chemistry.  Those students who could benefit from such a course include:

  • students who have already taken a high school chemistry course and plan to take AP (or first-year college level) chemistry but could benefit from a focused and interesting review of the important topics because they have not had their high school class recently or when taking the class did not feel as confident as they would've liked concerning the material covered.
  • students who have not yet taken a high school chemistry course but feel confidently able to start at a higher level of chemistry while at the same time recognizing that a focused look at the important lower-level concepts would be beneficial.

This short summer course is designed to allow students beginning an AP (or first-year college-level) chemistry course to simply learn the new material of the course as it unfolds instead of having to remediate and at the same time learn new, higher-level concepts.  In other words, this course will allow students to just "keep up" with new course material instead of having to both "keep up" and "catch up".  Often students beginning AP Chemistry find the "catching up" to be overwhelming as chemistry builds conceptually like no other subject. Even those students with a reasonable understanding of the high school topics could gain the confidence to excel in the course as you can't know the concepts too well!

Course Materials:

All course materials will be supplied electronically by the instructor.

How to apply:

There is no screening application for this course.  Apply through PA Homeschoolers.

Course Fees:

The tuition for this course is $225


The course begins on Monday, July 29, 2024, and ends on Thursday, August 22, 2024.  During these four weeks, the class will meet twice a week (for a total of eight sessions) on Mondays and Thursdays at 7:00 pm ET. Each session will be one hour in length.  All the sessions will be recorded and any student missing a class will have the opportunity to view the recorded session online.

Technical requirements:

Students will need a computer with high-speed internet access, a scientific or graphing calculator, and a Google account for email and other applications.

Course Description:

The course will cover the major ideas presented in a typical high school chemistry course that students need to "hit the ground running" in an AP Chemistry class.  The topics include:

  1. Basic Atomic Theory
  2. Basic Chemical Bonding
  3. Formula Writing and the Naming of Chemical Compounds (including acids).
  4. Chemical Reaction Equations
  5. Stoichiometry

There will be no homework, quizzes, tests, labs, or grades for this course.  Students will, however, be offered additional practice materials for those in need of it.

How the course will be run:

The content of the course will be delivered to the student via the online meeting platform Zoom.  Those students without a Zoom account can register for a free one at www.zoom.us.

Instructor Qualifications:

Mark Kernion has been teaching chemistry professionally since 1986. He graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. degree in Ceramic Science and Engineering in 1981. While at Penn State he won the Xerox Research Award for the most outstanding thesis in Material Sciences in his senior year. Following the attainment of his degree, he worked for 4 years as a Research Engineer for Harbison-Walker Refractories Co. developing materials for use in high-temperature industrial applications. He was awarded three U.S. patents for his work. During that time, he took education classes at the University of Pittsburgh attaining his Pennsylvania teaching certificate in Chemistry and Physics. He earned his Master’s degree in 2001 at Duquesne University in Liberal Studies, focusing on the history of science. In 1986 he began his public school teaching career with the Mt. Lebanon School District located near Pittsburgh, PA. He began teaching A.P. Chemistry in the 1998-1999 school year.  While teaching at Mt. Lebanon High School, he was honored with induction into the Cum Laude Society in 2006.  The Cum Laude Society is analogous to the Phi Beta Kappa Society but at the secondary level as opposed to the university level.  In 2007 he was given the Yale Educator Award which recognizes educators from around the world who have inspired and supported their students. He began teaching an online AP Chemistry course through PA Homeschoolers in 2019 after retiring from his public school job, having taught chemistry for 33 years, at the age of 60. He is the co-author of four books. One is Barron’s SAT Subject Test: Chemistry (a very popular test preparation book published by Barron’s Educational Series for the now-defunct SAT subject test in chemistry). The second is Chemistry the Easy Way (also published by Barron’s Educational Series) whose most recent 6th edition was released in July 2019. The third, and more recently published, is Barron's Science 360: Chemistry (September 2021). The fourth, and most recently published, is Barron's Chemistry Practice Plus (July 2022). He is also the founder/owner of Chemistry-Prep LLC.  Chemistry-Prep produces laboratory kits for AP Chemistry and also publishes a laboratory manual written by Mr. Kernion.  You could hear him discuss Chemistry and Physics with his twin brother, a physics teacher also offering classes through PA Homeschoolers, at MyScience-Prep's website (www.myscience-prep.com/podcasts) or on most streaming services offering podcasts.


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