Environmental Science

In this session, participants will learn about the development and grading of the AP test, discuss and evaluate teaching resources, and experience many kinds of lessons and student-centered experiences. Participants will ultimately draft a comprehensive syllabus for a year-long AP Environmental Science course. Much of the week will be spent in the field and in the lab, so that participants leave with a multitude of hands-on activities meant to facilitate student learning and develop critical analysis and problem solving abilities. Through designing experiments, engaging in inquiry-based activities, and collecting data in the field, students will understand how the process of science works. Hands-on activities rather than lecture are the focus, and workshop activities will focus on resources available in every community - cemeteries, power plants, fields, forests, ponds, and school campuses are all rich resources of inquiry-based projects. If time permits, we will also show a number of environmental films with suggestions on the use of these films in the classroom environment. This course is appropriate for both new and experienced AP teachers.


Tuesday – Morning Session

  1. Introductions & “I’ve Got Mine” Activity
  2. The AP Course
    1. Acorn Book
    2. Examples of syllabi
  3. Importance of Field Work & Labs
    1. Integrating concepts into labs & inquiry-based learning
  4. The Exam
    1. Multiple choice (60%) – no “guessing penalty”
    2. Free response (40%)
      1. Types of questions
      2. Discussion on interpreting questions and writing good responses (handout)

Lunch: “FLOW”

Tuesday – Afternoon Session

  1. Biodiversity Measurements
    1. Shannon Biodiversity Index Simulation (Parking Lot Lab)
    2. Benthic Bugs and Bioassessment (PPT & Project WET Activity)
  2. Protocols Activity – “Hottest and Coldest” – GLOBE Project Resources
  3. Inquiry and Water Quality Measurements (PPT & Descriptive Learning Cycle Inquiry Activity)
  4. Introduction to Study of Pond Ecosystems
  5. Field Preparation for Tuesday
  6. Homework
    1. Read through Lab 6 – Determining the Health of a Pond Ecosystem
    2. FRQ #2 – 2001 (Food Web/Ecological Interactions)
    3. FRQ #4 – 2001 (Stream WQ)

Wednesday – Morning Session

  1. Gather Equipment for Field Activity
  2. Field Activity: Determining the Health of a Pond Ecosystem (Possible collection of organisms for BioBottle Project)
  3. BioBottle Project – Planning, Design & Construction

Lunch: The Lorax

Wednesday – Afternoon Session

  1. Review and Discuss Monday Homework
    1. Construction of Rubrics and Grading of FRQ’s
    2. FRQ #2 – Food Webs, Ecological Interactions & Experimental Design
    3. FRQ #4 – Stream Water Quality and Experimental Design
  2. Stream Quality Monitoring Handout & Discussion on Lab Design
  3. Depth Profile and Compensation Point Activity
  4. Introduction to Study of Pond Ecosystems
  5. Field Preparation for Waste Water Treatment Plant
  6. Homework
    1. Energy Calculations
    2. FRQ #4 – 2005 (ANWR)
    3. FRQ #1 – 2007 (Waste Water Treatment)

Thursday – Morning Session

  1. Field Trip to the Waste Water Treatment Plant)
    1. Preliminary Design of WWT Plant Lesson
  2. Debrief trip to WWT Plant & Discuss FRQ #1 – 2007
  3. Discuss Tuesday Homework Problems

Lunch: “Wonderful World of DUNG!” – video & question sheet (just seems kind of appropriate ;-)

Thursday – Afternoon Session

  1. Syllabi Review and Construction – Part 1
  2. Air Pollution Lab Review – Carolina Biological
  3. Explorations in Soil & Food Resources
    1. Earth Apple
    2. The Wealth Beneath Your Feet – Soil Lab (also discuss Lettuce Lab)
  4. Onondaga Lake Case Study
  5. Homework
    1. FRQ #1 – 2000 (Power Plant Calculation)
    2. Onondaga Lake Case Study & Calculation Problems

Friday – Morning Session

  1. Review Homework Activities
    1. Onondaga Lake Case Study and Problems
    2. FRQ #1 – 2000 (Power Plant Calculation)
    3. Wastewater Treatment Plan Lesson Design
  2. Human Population
    1. Bacteria Bottles
    2. Demographic Facts of Life
    3. Human Population Growth
    4. Power of the Pyramids
    5. Human Population Changes – Survivorship Curves (The Cemetery Lab)
  3. Discuss Tuesday Homework Problems

Lunch: “Cane Toads” – video and question sheet

Friday– Afternoon Session

  1. Syllabi Review and Construction – Part 2
  2. Participant Activity Exchange
  3. Review textbooks & lab resources
  4. Workshop Evaluation & Suggestions

Very engaging with suggestions and hands on materials were outstanding. Offsite visits were great to show how materails can be incorporated.

–Past Client

John Madden

John received his bachelor’s degree in Geosciences from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and his master’s in Secondary Education and Geochemistry from the University of Arizona. After teaching environmental science, chemistry and geology for 20 years in the public school system in Tucson, Arizona, John served as the Science Education Program Coordinator for SAHRA, an NSF Science and Technology Center for Riparian Studies in Semi-arid Regions headquartered in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona before accepting his current position as a Science Master at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.

He has been involved in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science program since 1996 when he participated in the first Environmental Science AP “Train-the-Trainers” workshop held at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock where approximately twenty-five high school teachers and college faculty members gathered to design and explore the initial AP Environmental Science curriculum and develop appropriate laboratory experiences for the new course. He has been a College Board Consultant since 1998 and had run numerous one-day workshops as well as summer institutes in Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania and California. He has participated as a Reader, Table Leader and Question Leader for ten years at the annual AP Environmental Science Exam Readings.

In addition to his work with the AP program, he has served as a consultant with the Praxis Teacher Certification program in Earth Sciences. John is also a trainer and workshop leader for IEEIA (Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions), a project-based inquiry model of instruction developed by the Center for Instruction, Staff Development and Evaluation (CISDE) at Southern Illinois University. Since 1995, John has taught the Earth Science Teaching Methods course for the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona as well as the Inquiry and Water Issues graduate course for teachers in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources. In 2003-04, he served as the Teacher-In-Residence for the College of Science Teacher Preparation Program. And in 2006, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

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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 knowledge and 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.