IHS image

Learning Recommendations:

  • Successful completion of SCI200 - Biology and SCI300 - Chemistry with a grade of B or better is highly recommened
  • Proficiency in the use of computer software for word processing and spreadsheets.
  • Readiness for reading content and volume, and writing expectation geared to a college-level course.
  • Considerable time commitment is expected outside of the school day.
  • Strong reading comprehension, text analysis ability, and writing skills

General Description:  AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes – energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions.

  • College-level course which builds on concepts from SCI200 - Biology and SCI300 - Chemistry and moves at a rigorous pace.
  • Class will cover an extensive amount of content in order to give a complete understanding of the field of biology.
  • Due to the volume and level of the material, this course is designed to challenge extremely motivated students who have a strong interest in the Biological Sciences.
  • Meets description of lab-based science course for college entrance requirements as outlined by the Washington Student Achievement Council.
  • Upon successful completion of the AP Biology exam in May, students may receive college credit.

Content:  The course is based on four Big Ideas, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a board way of thinking about living organisms and biological systems.  The following are Big Ideas:

  1. The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
  2. Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
  3. Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.
  4. Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.

Science Practices:

  • Use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems
  • Use mathematics appropriately
  • Engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course
  • Plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question
  • Perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence
  • Work with scientific explanations and theories
  • Connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains

Strategies:  Students will learn through the combination of:

  • Lecture & discussion
  • Self-designed and prescribed laboratory investigations
  • Problem solving and critical thinking exercises
  • Multimedia offerings (computer simulations, video features)
  • Demonstrations (student or teacher-directed)
  • Student projects
  • Cooperative learning

Homework:  Students should expect homework at least 3-5 times per multi-week unit. These assignments include but are not limited to: practice packets, article readings and analyses, and lab activity investigation write-ups. Beyond any written homework, students are expected to spend 30-60 minutes – PER NIGHT – reviewing and studying the AP biology content.

Course Fee / Materials:  $40 fee.  Notebook, goggles, set of colored pencils, Four-function (with square root), scientific, or graphing calculator

AP courses at IHS challenge students with rigorous college-level work. By succeeding in college-level work while still in high school, students in AP courses develop confidence in their own abilities and learn essential time management and study skills needed for college and career success.

AP courses provide the opportunity for students to earn college credits. In order to earn college credit, students must register for the AP exam for this course. AP exam fees vary each year. Scholarships are available for students who qualify. AP exam registration takes place December through March. College credit can be earned with a passing score on the AP exam, but what the score qualification and amount of credit earned varies by college.