This year’s institute, designed for both new and experienced AP teachers, will provide an intensive five-day program that focuses on the experimental portion of our AP chemistry course. The institute will use guided-inquiry as well as traditional labs to explore a variety of experiments covering each of the six Big Ideas. We will also work out strategies for modifying traditional labs to make them more inquiry-based. The use of three major lab kit suppliers will allow you to evaluate the new guided inquiry lab kits and instructions from Flinn, Carolina, and Wards. Additionally, we will perform experiments from the new laboratory manual developed by the College Board. Some labs will be computer-based using a variety of probes such as pH, colorimetry, and temperature. Participants will work in small groups to perform the labs and then compare results, troubleshoot problems for students, and develop plans to integrate labs into your curriculum. Many of the lab experiments will be followed by in-depth analysis and conclusion discussions. This will allow us to develop and model critical-thinking skills that can be used in the classroom so that inquiry becomes an integrated component of our entire course. Using a dynamic approach in the classroom, participants will experience firsthand how to create a community of scientists, vastly decrease the amount of time, and increase the effectiveness of, their lab grading. The institute will look at how the new curriculum affects the laboratory program. We will examine lab problems from recent AP Exams as well as develop laboratory questions for our own exams. We will also discuss strategies that help prepare students for success on the exam.
Additionally, we will examine the College Board’s access and equity initiatives and the extensive supporting resources available to AP teachers. Most importantly, the institute will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and teaching practices where you will be able to add to and gain from the success and experience of other AP teachers. Many, if not all, of this year’s labs will be different from labs covered in the previous two years so everyone will leave the institute with a list of new labs and ideas that you will want to use in your classrooms and laboratories. As in past St. Johnsbury APSI’s, the week will serve as a springboard for the development of a network of collaborating AP Chemistry teachers. Come for a week of experimentation and collaboration with colleagues from the entire region.