To check their current level of understanding in biology in comparison to students in Biology Technology, AP Biology teachers gave volunteers from their classes surveys. The survey covered several biological topics, many of which have not been covered in their classes yet.
The aim of the survey was to compare how AP Biology and Biology Technology students are learning material. While AP Biology students learn in a more traditional fashion, Biology Technology students will undertake the barcoding life’s matrix project. The project will help students in covering and understanding topics that AP Biology covers as well.
“We’ve done this project in our classes for two, three years now,” Biology Technology teacher Meghan Shuff said. “The survey is to see if the project helps students learn the material.”
Although those in Biology Technology will be the ones actually doing the project, AP Biology will serve as a control group.
“Through the project we’re trying to see if they’re learning what they’re suppose to be learning,” Shuff said. “That’s why I need a control group because they’re learning similar material in a sense.”
In addition to comparing AP Biology classes to Biology Technology classes, the survey will also help earn funding if both subjects prove to have similar results.
“The group that we work with get funding by National Institutes of Health,” Shuff said. “So if the project shows that they’re learning the material just as an AP Bio group is learning the material then they get more money to do it next year.”
At the end of the school year, students will take the survey once again to compare the results.