This course is a collegiate science major's introduction to selected concepts and principles central to an understanding of how biological systems operate. Students earn college credit by earning a score of 3 or higher on the annual AP Biology exam. (Please note: The type of credit and qualifying score is determined by each institution and may also depend on which academic school offers your degree of interest. Be sure you know the AP credit transfer policies of the institutions you are applying to!)
Throughout the course, the importance of scientific methods and processes will be explored, as well as the following “Big Ideas”:
The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life
Biological systems use free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis
Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes
Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions exhibit complex properties
A thorough study of the biological sciences reveals that these central, unifying ideas often rely upon one another. Emphasis will be placed on this inter-connectedness throughout the course.
In addition to these “Big Ideas”, an emphasis will be placed on the development of sound scientific practices, such as concept explanation, visual representation, developing scientific questions and experimental methods, representing and describing data, statistical tests and data analysis, and scientific argumentation.
Biology is a challenging and exciting subject. This class is focused on helping you develop a strong biological foundation and skill set in the biological sciences. It is not designed to be a “test prep” class. The AP exam will ask you to “think like a biologist”. That is my goal as well. I firmly believe that those with a good understanding of biology are well-prepared for better understanding their own place within this beautifully complicated world and are well-suited for asking and answering important questions and solving the urgent problems that we deal with individually and globally. I will do everything I can to help you succeed! Keep in mind though, that success is not limited to earning an A or B or scoring well on the AP Exam. Success in this class (as in life) also depends on whether or not you actually learn anything that helps you refine your understanding of the world around you and better envision your place within it. It is my job to plan learning activities and guide you through these activities to help you achieve this understanding. It is your job to engage, ask questions (of me, of your fellow students, and of yourself), and commit to your own learning.
It is my hope that we will create a community of learners in our classroom—a community that will encourage everybody to engage in dialogue, support the learning of others, endeavor to improve their understanding of biology, and learn to think critically about the world around them. It is my firm belief that each one of you holds a piece to the puzzle—each one of you has his or her own perspective and understanding of the world, and by sharing this perspective, we can see a more complete picture of our world.
Enrolled students will be invited to join our Google Classroom where they will have access to lectures, lab activities, and other resources. They will require a composition or spiral notebook to keep track of experiments and other lab activities and a 3-ring binder to keep their noteguides organized. Students will be provided with a hard copy of a note guide that accompanies the lectures and discussions that we'll engage in throughout the course as well as a hard copy of the lab manual. For those who are interested in learning more about the content of the course click on the link below!
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!