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    What is AP Biology?

    AP Biology is a survey course of biological science equivalent to the introductory biology course for science majors taught at the university level.    AP Biology covers topics in greater depth and at a much faster pace than your 9th grade Biology  course.  You should have successfully completed both Biology and Chemistry as pre-requisites for this course.

    This course is extremely fast-paced and requires a great deal of self-discipline to be successful.  There is a heavy emphasis on science as inquiry and discovery; thus, a great deal of time is spent designing and performing laboratory investigations. 

    Our course is framed around four "Big Ideas" in Biology, as well as a set of Science Practices*.  They are: 

    Big Idea 1:  The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.

    Big Idea 2:  Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.

    Big Idea 3:  Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.

    Big Idea 4:  Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.

    Science Practice 1:  You will use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.

    Science Practice 2:  You will use mathematics appropriately.

    Science Practice 3:  You will engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of our course.

    Science Practice 4:  You will plan and implement data collection strategies appropriate to a particular scientific question.

    Science Practice 5:  You will perform data analysis and evaluate evidence.

    Science Practice 6:  You will work with scientific explanations and theories.

    Science Practice 7:  You will connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains.

    *Some material modified from (2010).  AP Biology Curriculum Framework 2012-2013.  New York, NY:  College Board. 

     Paul Andersen of Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana, gives a wonderful summary of the course here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibhnP5suqK8&t=3s