AP Env. Science AB Course Resources

Course Introduction

Instructor Information

Emily Kroutil

Email: Emily.Kroutil@gavirtualschool.org

Phone: 470-238-8663 (voicemail)

The resources in this newsletter are in addition to those found in MODULE 0: Course Introduction of your course content. You should first go through the content and complete the quizzes and activities. These resources are to supplement your understanding of the concepts. Please contact me if you have questions!


DISCUSSION: Top 10 Environmental Problems

  • Use the RUBRIC to help you write a discussion posting that will earn full points.
  • Make sure when you respond to your classmates that you post AT LEAST a 4 sentence response. "I agree with..." or "I disagree with..." is not enough to earn full points for a response. You must say why you agree or disagree and back up your reasoning.
  • This article is related to the discussion prompt and may help you answer the prompt.

Lab: Scientific Inquiry

  • The handout for this lab can be found on page 9 of the module.
  • Make sure to include ALL parts (Title, Introduction, Materials/Procedure, Data Collection, Analysis/Discussion, Conclusion) in your lab report for full credit.
  • The Introduction and Conclusion sections should be written in paragraph form (NO BULLETED LISTS)
  • This site (https://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/default.aspx) is a great resource for creating a graph. Excel is also a popular choice. This VIDEO shows you how to create a graph with Excel.
  • This video walks you through how to write a lab report and this video walks you through a sample lab report and what should be in each section.
  • Please be sure to read the rubric for this assignment closely to help you earn full points.
  • Do not forget this part of the lab to earn your "post-lab questions" points:

    Write and answer 5 analysis questions based on the background and the purpose of the lab. This is the opportunity for you to think like the teacher and develop some thought provoking questions. At least three of your analysis questions must require mathematical computation. Look over the notes in the content related to scientific notation and dimensional analysis to develop appropriate questions. Don’t forget to show your work!! If you need help with this section, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Q: Can I work with another student from my school on this lab?

  • A: You may work together with a classmate by setting up your experiment in the same place and collecting data together. However, your lab report should be COMPLETELY separate from your classmate(s). The only thing that can be the same is the data you collected. You should each have your own pictures, etc.

  • Q: I noticed 10 points on the lab were for formatting. Are there any specific guidelines?

  • A: The formatting guidelines can be found on the rubric (check the dropbox folder for the assignment to see the rubric), but the only formatting requirements are (I copied these straight from the rubric I will be using to grade your lab):

    1. The lab is legibly typed or written.

    2. The lab sections are in correct order.

    3. No more than two spelling or grammatical errors.

  • Q: Which type of gummy worms do you recommend?
  • A: I'd get the cheapest gummy worms you can find. They should all work the same, so there's no need to spend more money if you don't have to.

  • Q: What is the procedure for this lab?
  • A: This lab wants you to create your own procedure and test it.

  • Q: Do we figure out how to answer the questions based on our own steps and then write that in the lab report?
  • A: You will write 5 questions (5 of which involve math) based on the lab you created. Then, you will answer the questions you wrote (including showing your work for the math).

  • Q: For the third focus question, I'm a little confused as to what I would use as my control. Can you help with this?
  • A: For this question, you are looking at the rate of water absorption of the gummies, so you will be measuring the “color” (which won’t change) and the size of the gummies. So, for this one, you wouldn’t have a control, in the typical sense. You will need to use multiple colors of gummies, at least 2, and put them in exactly the same amount of water, keep them at exactly the same, temperature, etc. You’ll want everything for each color to be as similar as possible. In this way, the environment will basically act as the control. Then, you’ll measure the size of the gummies at constant intervals, whatever you decide. Remember, if you choose something like every 30 minutes and you choose to run your experiment over night, you’ll need to check them every 30 minutes overnight too. So keep these logistics in mind when you decide how often you are going to check on (and measure) your gummies. If you choose to run your experiment for an hour or two, every 15 or 30 minutes might be more feasible.

  • Q: I need help with the calculations and I don’t know where to start with them. I thought I could maybe do dimensional analysis with it? What do you think?
  • A: You can create any questions you’d like as long as they relate to the experiment. You could have students calculate the change in width or change in length for each gummy. You could have them calculate the average change in width or length. When you answer the questions, you must show your work in solving the questions.

  • Q: We chose focus question 3. We are going to measure the length and width of the gummies every 30 minutes so that's our graph. Is this sounding okay so far?
  • A: You will need to create two graphs or two separate lines on your graph if you are measuring both length and width. A graph with either length or width on one acid and the other quantity on the other axis will not make sense. You’ll want your independent variable on the x-axis. This is usually time because independent variables are not affected by anything you do in your experiment. The dependent variable goes on the y-axis. This is usually whatever you are measuring. So you could create a graph with length on the y-axis and time (in your experiment, it would probably make sense to have your time in minutes) on the x-axis and then another graph with width on the y-axis and time on the x-axis.

  • Q: I was just wondering if i could see an example of a lab report. I'm just a bit confused on formatting and such.

  • A: Here is an example of a lab report I wrote with one of my face-to-face classes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CM7ZXUekTvH1qXW5P9YZqsjt8OS2Na1DjMrBhFNcbCQ/edit?usp=sharing

    You can also check out this recording “How to Write A Lab Report (Gummy Lab FAQ) 1/15/19” and the associated PDF of the powerpoint “How to Write A Lab Report Presentation

  • Q: Do the components of the experimental design (independents variable, dependent variable, control, etc.) go under the introduction or Materials and Procedures?
  • A: ​As per the rubric in the dropbox folder for the assignment, you should put your variables in the materials and procedures section.

  • Q: Should I include both a null and alternative hypothesis? I don't understand the difference.
  • A: You should only use a null and alternative hypothesis if you are doing statistics. If you aren't running statistics on your data, then you will simply use a traditional "if...then" hypothesis.

  • Q: Should the procedure be listed in paragraph form or numbered?
  • A: You can do whatever you want. It should be detailed enough for someone else to follow the instructions, but should expect your reader to be an intelligent, science-minded person. For example, you don't need to tell the reader to get a piece of paper or pencil to collect their data. You would assume they know to do basic things like that.

  • Q: I'm struggling with making the mathematical computation questions. My experiment didn't have a whole lot of math in it.
  • A: Did you measure the size of the gummies? What about the amount of water? You could ask the reader to calculate the average change in water for each experimental group or the average change in gummy size for each experimental group. Or you could ask them to calculate the difference in gummy size from the beginning to the end of the experiment. Or the average gummy length overall. The math doesn't have to be super complicated, but you do need to provide a solution for each question.

  • Q: Can I use gummy bears instead of gummy worms?
  • A: The shape of your gummy does not matter.

  • Q: Do I need to calculate the rate of permeability for each gummy?
  • A: No, you can simply look at the difference between the gummy's starting size and ending size and see which grew the most or least.

How to Write A Lab Report
Sample Lab Report Walkthrough

FRQ: Coral Reefs

  • To receive full credit for the free response question, you will need to show all steps necessary to explain how the answer was found.
  • The College Board used to offer 11 possible points for each FRQ, but a student can never earn more than 10 points on an FRQ. So your FRQs will be graded out of 10 points. This specific FRQ is only a partial FRQ, so it will be graded out of 9 points.
  • Watch these videos for help answering FRQs: FRQ Tips and Tricks Part 1, FRQ Tips and Tricks Part 2
  • FRQs may NOT be resubmitted for a higher grade.

  • Q: I'm having trouble with the math on this FRQ. Can you help me?
  • A: If you have specific questions about what part of the math you do not understand, I can walk you through it. I've also made some videos that might help, as you will need to learn how to do this math, as it is the same type of math that is on the AP exam. This video shows you how to do dimensional analysis, which is a common type of math on the AP exam and the type of math used in this FRQ: https://youtu.be/ByX1Bd9uae4. This video walks you through this FRQ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyZN2g_u96Y. It shows all parts of the FRQ, and you only need to do C, D, E, but you can fast forward to that part. I would suggest, however, that you try to solve the problems on your own and use this video as simply a "back up" to check your work.

  • Q: Where do I find the FRQ?
  • A: Click on Course Materials at the top of your course and choose Content from the dropdown menu. Then choose the module you are interested in from the list on the left side. Click on the first link to the module that pops up. A new window will open with the course content. The FRQ can be found on either the last or second to last page of the module.

Additional Resources

Big picture
Big picture
Calculating with Significant Figures
Scientific Notation