AP Biology

Course Description

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics like evolution, energetics, information storage and transfer, and system interactions.

Key Course Learning Experiences

Learning experiences will include lecture/note writing, discussions and collaborative, hands-on lab experiences.

  • Examples of Lab Experiences may include:
  • Enzyme catalysis rate
  • Diffusion – calculation of plant cell solute potential
  • Respiration – the effects of temperature on respiration rate
  • Photosynthesis – Effects of various variables on the rate of photosynthesis (Leaf Disc Assay)
  • Analysis of DNA samples using Gel Electrophoresis
  • Transformation of E. coli using genetically engineered plasmids
  • Using a potometer to measure transpiration rates
  • BLAST Lab – analysis of genomes using an online database
  • Natural Selection of plant trichomes

Essential Learning Goals

  • Explanation of Phenomena (60%) - Students will use models and representations to communicate explanations of scientific phenomena as evidenced by explanations of observed data and biological mechanisms.

  • Process of Inquiry (20%) - Students will ask questions, define problems, design and carry out investigations, and communicate the results of those investigations as evidenced by presentation of lab processes and results in written and/or verbal form.

  • Problem Solving / Data Analysis  (20%) - Students will use a combination of mathematics, statistical analysis  and critical thinking to analyze data and solve problems.

Major Assessments and Success Criteria

         Students will be assessed on the demonstration of their ability to appropriately apply the skills learned in each unit (and across units).  This will take place in the form of paper/pen tests, lab analysis and projects.  Tests will include selective response, writing, mathematical/graphical/statistical analysis.  

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