AP Biology is the equivalent of a one-year university course in biology, taught within the parameters of high school. Students explore how we “know what we know” by investigating seven topic areas: the nature of science, evolution, the chemistry of life, cells, cell processes (energy and cell communication), genetics, and biodiversity and ecology. Integrated into the seven topic areas are big ideas and scientific practices, enduring understandings, and learning objectives from the AP Biology Curriculum Framework that merge concepts with concepts at the molecular, cellular, organism, population, and ecosystem levels. The course is designed to prepare students for the AP Biology Exam.
The course merges rigor with creativity and offers students the opportunity to learn through scientific inquiry and develop laboratory skills. Lab investigations will make up ~50% of instructional time. Students will be required to report on most laboratory investigations. The inquiry-based laboratory investigations will focus on the reasoning skills used to generate arguments and test alternative hypotheses and theories using circumstantial, correlational, and experimental evidence. Such arguments and evidence are the essence of scientific literacy and lie at the heart of effective thinking in virtually all walks of life.