Plants in beakers

AP® Biology

The AP Biology Summer Institute aims to give teachers the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill in teaching the Curriculum Framework. Participants will discuss, research, and share ideas on topics including course organization, incorporation of inquiry and statistical analysis to classroom activities and labs, use of models to explain biological processes, development of students’ written responses, use of formative and summative assessments, and exam preparation. A student-centered approach to teaching AP Biology will be emphasized and a variety of materials and resources to support the implementation of the curriculum framework within the classroom will be shared. As participants explore the big ideas and science practices through hands-on activities and labs, tips on how to successfully set-up, conduct, and evaluate them will be included. Through the sharing of best instructional practices and collaborative lesson modification and development, participants will leave the session with classroom-ready materials.

Course Takeaways

  1. Participants will leave the session with classroom-ready lessons
  2. Participants will expand their professional network for exchanging best practices
  3. Participants will gain experience applying the AP Science Practices and generate new ways to weave them throughout course materials.
  4. Participants will have fun taking on the student role and doing science!

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Course Schedule

June 24:


  • Welcome & Introductions
  • AP Biology Curriculum
  • Equity and Access Discussion
  • Big Idea 4: Interactions—Enduring Understanding, Essential Knowledge, & Learning Objectives Share
  • Introduction to Inquiry and Incorporating Inquiry into the AP Biology Classroom
  • Asking Good Questions Activity


  • Lab—Enzyme Activity
  • Lab—Animal Behavior

June 25:


  • Understanding the AP Biology Exam
  • Free Response Questions – Teaching Strategies, Working with Command Terms
  • Quantitative Skills – Presenting and Analyzing Data
  • Quantitative Skills – Descriptive Statistics
  • Lab Data Discussion—Transpiration


  • Quantitative Skills—Hypothesis Testing (Chi-Square and Lab Application)
  • Big Idea 3: Genetics & Information Transfer—Enduring Understandings, Essential Knowledge, & Learning Objectives Share
  • Lab—pGLO: Bacterial Transformation (Set-up)

June 26:


  • Lab—Transformation (Data Collection/Discussion)
  • Discussion – Cell Cycle and Regulation
  • Cancer as a Genetic Disease – HHMI Video and Activity
  • Big Idea 2: Cellular Processes (Energy Transfer and Communication)—Enduring Understandings, Essential Knowledge & Learning Objectives Share
  • Lab—Giant Panda Problem – Investigating Immunology and Endocrinology using ELISA


  • Lab—Osmosis (Set-up)
  • Lab— Photosynthesis and Cell Respiration
    • Leaf Disk Assay
    • Cell Respiration

June 27:


  • Lab—Foodborne Outbreak Gel Electrophoresis MiniLab – Guest Presenter from MiniOne
  • Lab—Osmosis (Data Collection)


  • Big Idea 1: Evolution—Enduring Understandings, Essential Knowledge, and Learning Objectives Share
  • Lab—Hardy-Weinberg (Population Genetics Activity)
  • Modeling Concepts in Evolution
  • Lab Discussion—Artificial Selection
  • Lab—BLAST
  • Wrap-Up

*Throughout the week there will be time for participants to work on curriculum and syllabus planning as needed

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About the Instructor

Paulette Unger

Paulette Unger began her teaching career 20 years ago after earning her Masters of Teaching in Science Education from the University of Virginia. Eighteen of those years have been spent teaching various levels of Biology, college preparatory, honors, AP and IB, at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC. In addition, Unger serves as the Global Online Academy Site Director for her school and teach an online course on Bioethics. Her experience with College Board spans the past decade, conducting workshops as an AP Consultant and serving as an AP Exam Reader. 

Unger's classroom teaching has been enriched through her interactions with other science educators, as well as diverse learners, through these experiences. In the remaining hours of the day, she savors the time she has with her family and stays active with her young children.

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Additional Information

Participants should bring a laptop for in class use, a graphing calculator, a copy of his or her school calendar for 2019-2020 and class textbook if available for syllabus planning (as needed), and two items to share at the institute: 1) an inquiry lab/activity and 2) a non-inquiry activity that one has (or might have) AP students do.  We will discuss these labs and activities as we review the curriculum framework for AP Biology and share these with one another. Therefore, bring a paper copy of these two labs/activities, but also have them available electronically. 

We will be using Google Drive to share course materials.  Participants will be receiving from me a separate email invitation to that folder closer to the start date for the workshop.

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Refund Policy

See Refund Policy →