The 2017 AP Biology APSI will acquaint teachers with the four Big Ideas found in the AP Biology curriculum framework.
Participants will take an in-depth look at the AP Biology curriculum framework and how it is organized into Big Ideas, Enduring Understandings, Essential Knowledge statements, Learning Objectives, and Science Practices. Each day will address a Big Idea found in the curriculum framework. Each day will also include an AP Strategy session designed to enhance an AP Biology learning environment by moving from teacher to student-centered instruction. AP Concepts will also be offered in a daily session to help teachers assist students toward skills needed in an AP Biology class. Select AP Biology labs that correlate to each Big Idea will be included. Additionally, inquiry investigation will be performed to help the teacher move from guided to more open-inquiry labs for their students. Through practice, sharing of ideas, discussions, and modeling, it is the intention that participants will become more skilled in instructing their students to become more successful in achieving the skills necessary in the AP Biology program of study.
Marshall Welch has been a high school science educator for 27 years with the last 19 of those at Alpena High School in northwest Arkansas. He works also as a part-time faculty member at North Arkansas College where he is a physical science, astronomy, and biology instructor. While at Alpena, he has taught AP Biology for 11 years. He has instructed the Pre-AP Biology classes for 19 years. In 2015, Marshall was recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher. He adheres to a curriculum framework driven instruction philosophy that has resulted in recognition of his students as a top 20 high school in his state for most improved end of course biology exam performance over a period from 2007-2013 by the Office of Educational Performance (OEP) at the University of Arkansas. Marshall initiated a competitive high school science research program that has witnessed over 1,400 regional, state, and international science fair awards won by students. He has had the privilege of mentoring 24 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalists. He has also collaborated with the Alpena FFA Chapter to produce over 100 National FFA Agriscience Fair Finalists. 15 of those were national award winners earning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place honors. Welch was selected among a small group of high school science educators to be trained as a College Board Professional Development Consultant in April 2013. He was trained in Chicago and has presented professional development events for the New York Stem Initiative, Texas Gear Up, Oklahoma Department of Education, Gwinnett County (Georgia) Schools, Columbus (Georgia) Public Schools, and the Los Angeles Unified School District along with local events in Arkansas. He has presented over 20 Advanced Placement Summer Institutes in Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. He finds the move to a framework driven and inquiry-based curriculum in the AP sciences an interesting challenge and enjoys helping teachers transition to this direction of AP Science education.