Advanced Placement Biology is an in-depth study into the chemistry, processes, cell structures
and the functions of the cell and their effects at the cellular and organism levels of cellular
organization. On the ecological levels of organization, this course studies the classification of
organisms, systems, relationships, interdependence and ecology of organisms and their
environments. Investigations explore the areas of cell biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution.
Advanced techniques microscopy, colorimetry, electrophoresis, and biochemistry are included.
A review of taxonomy and an overview of plant/animal structure & function are covered.
Students interested in careers in the sciences, especially nursing, medicine, health, dentistry and
any of the biological sciences would find this course very beneficial. AP Biology also prepares
students for the College Placement Test in Biology.
As a result of taking this course, students should be able accomplish the following:
1. Through the subjects within the scope of biology covered be able “develop a conceptual
framework for modern biology” to explain and answer to the question, “what is life?”
a) identify the characteristic properties of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and
b) compare the diversity of organisms and the various methods scientists use to
organize it and to understand their lines & patterns of development;
c) analyze the relationships between organisms and the ecosystems they live in;
d) describe the cell types, cell structures & their functions, and the metabolism of
e) explain the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, mitosis, and meiosis;
f) investigate the patterns of heredity and how they operate in organisms;
g) show a comprehensive understanding of molecular genetics, the chemistry that
allows it to operate, and the technology that helps us to understand it;
h) comprehend the structure, function, and regulation in plants & animals;
i) evaluate scientific theory as it applies to the operating mechanisms of evolution.
2. Identify and explain the relationships, interdependence, balance, and renewal processes
within the systems operating and how these phenomena maintain the mechanisms that
provide those systems their ability to sustain themselves.
3. Understand and explain the unifying and foundational role both evolution and evolution
theory provide within the various fields of biology.
4. Demonstrate their ability to solve problems scientifically, build relationships, access &
manipulate information, think critically, and make good decisions.
5. Learn various laboratory methodology, laboratory techniques and specific technical skills
through labs, experiments and other hand-on activities that will reinforce “an appreciation
for science as a process.”
The essential student requirements for this course are: learning advanced lab skills, additional
readings, writing essays, research/library work, critical & analytical thinking skills, and
attendance at four of the provided field trips or a combination of field trips and HHMI lecture
presentations (each HHMI presentation equals ½ field trip).
Students are required to attend four field trips, which they choose from among a large selection
of trips offered. Field trips are scheduled on weekend days rather than during the school day.
Selected readings from the novel, A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold are also integrated
into the course. Biology II and Anatomy/Physiology are recommended additional courses that
would help prepare the student for AP Biology.
In order to meet the Advanced Placement standards for AP Biology set by the College Board,
this class will be scheduled for two periods – five days a week. Only students with a B- or better
in the prerequisite science and math courses should consider enrolling in this class. Contact the
teacher or the Department Chair for further information.
• Recognize the unifying role and underlying basis that evolution provides for the
science of biology.
• Demonstrate an understanding for science as a process and the central role
experimentation through the scientific method plays in the process and progress
• Discover and explain the chemistry of life through chemical basis for living
II. Organisms & Their Environment
• Compare and contrast the various disciplines of taxonomy with systematics.
• Be able to apply various techniques of classification to identify a species and to
identify how species are related.
• Demonstrate an understanding of the six kingdoms and their associated taxa.
• Describe the role of various types of relationships to community dynamics and the
organization, development, and sustaining of an ecosystem.
• Describe the concept of biogeochemical cycles and be able to identify various
examples of biogeochemical cycles.
• Identify the plant & animal associations of the major biomes of the Earth and be
able to give examples of each.
III. Cell Biology
• Describe the principles of Cell Theory and the Endosymbiotic Theory.
• Be able to identify cell organelles, their ultrastructure, and their functions.
• Compare and contrast prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic cells and plant cells vs. animal
• Describe the composition of the cell membrane and the concept of the fluid
• Explain the role of various processes associated with the movement of materials
across the cell membrane and their role in regulating/maintaining cellular
metabolism and homeostasis.
• Describe the various processes involved in cell division.
• Place in order the phases of mitosis and meiosis.
• Be able to identify the related activities that occur within each phase of mitosis
• Identify the specialized structures associated with cell division and the function of
each during the activities occurring during cell division.
• Explain Mendel’s Laws
• Given the information on patterns of inheritance for specific characteristics, be
able to perform monohybrid & dihybrid crosses for Mendelian, codominant,
incompletely dominant, sex-linked traits, and combinations of the above traits.
• Be able to explain the role of mutation in genetics as well as identify both gene &
chromosomal mutations; describe and give an example of each.
• Be able to explain and apply the Hardy-Weinberg Principle to a given trait, and
describe the limitations under which it operates.
• Given the information on populations, be able to solve Hardy-Weinberg and Chi-
• Be able to identify the structure, chemistry, and function of nucleotides and
V. Organism Structure, Function & Life Processes
• Identify the specialized structures associated with plants and their function.
• Describe the various types of plant regulation employed for growth, reproduction,
metabolism, homeostasis, and life cycle processes.
• Identify the specialized structures associated with animals and their function.
• Describe the various types of animal regulation employed for growth,
reproduction, metabolism, homeostasis, and life cycle processes.
• Explain the role of biological clocks in organism regulation through circadian
rhythm and cellular clocks.
VI. Evolution (if time)
• Compare and contrast the nature of scientific theory through its principles and
limitations to non-scientific or pseudo- scientific theory.
• Describe the historical development of evolution theory.
• Describe the fundamental principles of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
• Compare and contrast modern evolution theories to Darwinism.
• Identify the operating mechanisms to biological evolution.