What are the pros of taking chemistry in high school?I just want to know what are the pros/neat things you learn in chemistry in highschool. Thank you.

Expert Answers
wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are two kinds of learning going on in high school chemistry classes.  The more obvious one is the empirical knowledge, the terms and actions of the science of chemistry, which always serve us well in everyday life even if we do not make science our career.  But the other form of knowledge, the cognitive processes, are absolutely invaluable.  The taxonomies of the elements, represented so powerfully in the visual arrangement of Mendeleev's Chart, teach us how to gather the units of any set into coherent, workable groups (for example, kinds of cars, kinds of animals, kinds of entertainments, kinds of information retrieval methods, etc.); the carefully designed chemical experiments teach us how the order of steps in a process is important for reliable, predictable results (for example, in building a structure, in baking a cake, in planning a trip, etc.) the way in which elements combine into molecules and the way that molecules combine into substances are indispensible skills in all disciplines; the exchanges of energy, in all their complexity, are learned and demonstrated, often in highly visual ways.   The ever-present dangers of chemicals teach us the importance of care and precaution, and the difference between seriousness and horseplay. In other words, the chemistry class is the training ground for logical thought, for organizing knowledge into useable patterns, for beginning the conscious use of our reasoning abilities for solving problems, a necessary passage from childhood to maturity.  And for many, it is the first stepping-stone to a life of scientific inquiry.  

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some students think  they don't need chemistry, but science classes are becoming more advantageous than ever before. Just because you might not be a chemist someday doesn't mean you won't learn something valuable from a chemistry class. For one  thing, with the way things are made and processed these days (including food), some basic knowledge of chemistry will help you understand what you are using, buying, and eating.

Environmental issues are only going to become more and more important. Many of these issues involve concepts that you are going to learn about in chemistry. In order for future voters to make informed decisions about anything that involves chemicals or chemical reactions (which is just about everything) you need to understand the basics.

There are some high school students who are going to take chemistry next year and be shocked with how much they love it. It will become the passion of their life. And they never would have known without the class.

By the way, I'm not a chemistry teacher!

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beyond what these other two posts have said, it is important to have a basic knowledge of some fundamental ideas just to be a well-rounded person.  For example, it is good to know the ideal gas law so that you understand the relationship between pressure and temperature.  That one helps me know that when I'm trying to boil water in a hurry I can press down on the lid and make the temperature rise.  Every educated person should know a bit about everything and that is something you can gain by taking Chemistry in high school.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The study of chemistry forms a foundation for many other sciences.  If you take it in high school, it will be much easier in college.  You will be at some advantage because it will not be completely new.  Chemistry is needed for any science major, including medicine. 

Besides its usefulness, chemistry is just neat!  It is useful for cooking, crafts, and all kinds of other household areas.  All of us should also have an understanding of chemistry, because we will all need to take medicine!

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Even outside the academic arena, chemistry teaches us about our world.  So many people do not understand simple things such as why water is so heavy because they never learned about water's molecular structure.  The knowledge of the elements and other scientific basics also aids people in understanding medical explanations from their physicians as well as nutritional facts. And, as mentioned in post #3, the mental and mathematical exercises involved in a chemistry course have extensive benefits.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The coolest thing I learned in high school chemistry was, pretty much everything I needed for college chemistry.  That may sound silly, but if you are planning on taking any type of career path that would involved chemistry classes in college you MUST take high school chemistry.  I took two years of chemistry in high school, and was amazed at how easy college chemistry was!  I made an easy A in a very hard class due to my background developed in high school.

cgrant2 | Student

I am a high chemistry teacher and I believe learning chemistry is very important. Chemistry is the study of matter or in other world the study of the structure and function of everything on earth. If you are living particle on this earth, you are affected by chemistry. One example I would always like to use is cooking. Do you like to cook? Cooking has a lot to do with chemistry. Whether your talking about grilling meat, steaming your favorite vegatables, or baking your favorite cake you are taking about chemistry. Cooking food requires breaking of chemical bonds, boiling, freezing, reactions, etc. All of these topics are covered in high school chemistry (I teach them to my students). There are so many other things chemistry involves as well. It's all around us. Chemistry helps us understand the world we live in. Without understanding chemistry, we would not have the technological advances we have today. 

Another factor is that in some cases its a graduation requirement for some high schools and colleges look for science courses on your transcript. Academically it's a good choice to do well in your chemistry classes. I hope this was helpful! 

slygirl | Student
Well there many different ways to look at it. One from a college standpoint and the other from a work standpoint. Colleges look for chemistry to be on your highschool transcript and almost every good college will frown upon that course not being there. Not taking chemistry may mean the difference between the college of your dreams and community college. However, depending on what job you wish to get or career to pursue chemistry may not be necessary. You may be able to take a different course that would be more beneficial to you in place of chemistry. My point is that if you plan on going into any type of science you should take chemistry and even if you aren't, it will help you get into the college of your choice and allow you to career swap later on in life easier than if you hadn't.
profdano | Student

What are your future plans? Yes, some occupations need a background in chemistry and some do not. The argument could be made that even if your plans don't include a science job, the study of chemistry would still prove beneficial in making you a well rounded and well exposed student. Believe it or not, sometimes we come up with an answer to a life question in a round about way. Something that you learned in chemistry may help you solve a problem in an unrelated scenario. That's how the mind works sometimes. An abstract fact that pops into your head may, if nothing else, start a whole new thought process that solves the pressing question at hand.

Obviously, some professional programs may require a solid foundation in the chemical as well as biological sciences.

crystaltu001 | Student

Taking chemistry in high school is a good thing because you get to do labs and play with chemicals. You could have fun and work together with classmates and friends and you also got to learn a lot of things.

Wiggin42 | Student

I loved chemistry class in high school. I especially enjoyed lab days. Testing a hypothesis, gathering data, and analyzing it in a lab notebook was very fulfilling. It indirectly taught me problem solving and critical thinking skills that I use everyday. Group lab work teaches  how to cooperate and collaborate like nothing else!

i will just say that if you take chemistry in highschool, it will be much easier for you when you go to college to understand the classes. 

angel-girl | Student

Out the 3 sciences, Chemistry can link to the other two sciences the best.

lcboone | Student

It looks a lot better on your college resume if you take chemistry, biology, physics, and some other science during high school. Most schools require you to take 4 years of science.

-preps you for many careers

-is a basis for many subsets if sciences (biochemistry, chemical engineering, nonochemistry, etc.)