Preparing Students for Advanced Placement Biology, An Introduction.

This intensive course will focus on the newly redesigned AP Biology curriculum. Primary topics to be discussed will be the integration of the Four Big Ideas, with the Essential Knowledge, Enduring Understandings, and the seven Science Practices into teachersí existing curriculum. The lab component will focus on inquiry and labs from the College Boardís new lab manual: AP Biology Investigative Labs: An Inquiry-Based Approach. Participants will also learn how to modify traditional experiments into inquiry-based models. Additional topics will include the integration of biotechnology, experimental design and technology into the AP Biology course; including how to use TI-84 graphing calculators and Vernierís probeware in some of the labs. Participants will learn how to prep the labs, to perform the labs and how to analyze the results. Biotechnology labs that may be included are BioRadís pGLO transformation lab and gel electrophoresis.

We will also examine the new AP Biology exam design, and essay grading approaches. Teachers will learn how to write questions in the new style of the revised AP exam. In support of the AP Audit requirements, participants will begin to develop an AP Biology syllabus specific to their needs, in addition to our daily laboratory investigations, and data analysis work. Participants should bring a calculator, flash drive, and digital camera.

Participants should spend some time reviewing the new curriculum at AP Central prior to attending the institute. This is a free download and can be found at:


The topics below will comprise the majority of our four days, although it may alter some depending upon the needs of the group.


Curriculum Issues

  • Equity & access
  • AP audit
  • Suggested support materials including computer software.
  • Strategies for test preparation
  • Various strategies and activities useful in teaching
  • AP Biology
  • Sharing of best practices

The AP Biology Exam

  • Recent changes to the exam
  • Redesign and curriculum
  • Overview of test development
  • Discussion of the reading and how the rubrics are developed
  • Grading practice of sample essays with a rubric

Group Sessions

  • Development of free response questions
  • Practice and create multiple choice questions

Laboratories (including preparation, conducting, and analysis)

  • Experimental design
  • pGlo Transformation
  • Gel Electrophoresis
  • Whole plant transpiration
  • Respiration of germinating peas with CO2 probes
  • Enzymes with gas pressure probes
  • Chromatography and Photosynthesis
  • Diffusion & Osmosis
  • Dissolved oxygen and primary productivity
  • Meiosis & Sordaria

Additional possible laboratories may include

  • Meiosis & Reebops
  • DNA extraction
  • M&M’s and Chi-square
  • Estimating the number of stomata on a plant
  • Hardy Weinberg (Calculator sex)
  • Molecular modeling

What to bring

  • Lab goggles and apron if you have one
  • TI-83 or 84 calculator if you own one
  • Flash drive (1 GB or larger) for sharing labs and other information

By far the best professional development I have been to in the last 25 years.

–Past Client

Instructor: Franklin Bell

Franklin Bell holds a BS in Zoology from The Ohio State University, and an MA in Education from the College of William & Mary. He is a veteran high school science teacher of 30 years, and has been teaching AP Biology for the past 20 years. He has been a reader and a table leader for the AP Biology exam, is a former member of the AP Biology Test Development Committee, and coauthored Strive for a 5: Preparing for the AP Biology Examination. Franklin teaches AP Biology at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, PA. He was formerly the Science coChair at Saint Maryís Hall in San Antonio, TX. He also is a consultant for the College Board presenting at two-day and week-long conferences throughout the Southwest and Mid-Atlantic Regions. The National Association of Biology Teachers awarded Franklin the 2006 Texas Outstanding Biology Teacher Award and the College Board awarded Franklin the 2003 Outstanding Achievement Award for his contributions to the Advanced Placement Program.

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Institute Faculty

The faculty have been selected for their teaching expertise, creativity, innovations in teaching and experience with the AP* Program curriculum. All faculty members are endorsed and certified by the Middle Atlantic Regional Office of The College Board and have demonstrated a commitment to excellence that is second to none.

Daily Schedule

Classes are scheduled from Tuesday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Class check-in begins at 7 a.m. with as brief orientation at 7:20 a.m.

Participants receive a catered lunch at a waterfront restaurant each day.

Morning and afternoon coffee/snack breaks are provided each day.

An Opportunity for Learning and Interacting

Instructors encourage sharing among participants that will enhance the knowledgeand skills of all participants for effective teaching. The opportunity to exchange and communicate with instructors and colleagues within the Middle Atlantic Region and beyond is a valued support resource for the entire school year.

Course Questions?

Questions/concerns about your particular course can be addressed by going to course description and clicking on the instructor’s name. You will then be able to e-mail the instructor. Any problems call the Lewes Summer Institute office at 302-644-0277.

* This Summer Institute has been endorsed by Advanced Placement Program, AP, Pre-AP, College Board and it’s logo are registered trademarks of the College Board.