Week One: June 23-26, 2014

 I.  Pre-AP Chemistry (1009)

The focus of this workshop will be on developing teaching strategies to create a learning environment for student success on concepts needed for rigorous science courses.  Emphasis will be on the level needed to learn what is necessary to be successful on the AP Chemistry exam.  A detailed review of the new AP Chemistry curriculum framework and its relationship to state mandated end of course exams will be conducted.  Time will be allowed for sharing best practices, for discussion of concepts in the course, and for laboratory experiments.  The latter will include methods for determination of molar masses, titrations, and etc.

Participants will take home electronic copies of all the consultant's materials developed for Pre-AP and AP Chemistry

Topics will include the following:

  • An overview of the AP program and the AP Chemistry exam
  • Appropriate scope and sequence
  • Differentiation between AP and Pre-AP courses
  • Recruitment of students into Pre-AP Chemistry
  • Multiple-choice strategies
  • Atomic structure and periodicity
  • Bonding and VSEPR
  • Gas laws
  • Nuclear chemistry (and relationship to kinetics)
  • Stoichiometry

Homework: Participants should bring goggles, an apron or lab coat, closed-toe shoes, and a TI graphing calculator

Mr. Todd Abronowitz currently teaches all levels of chemistry at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas.  Previously, he was the lead AP Chemistry teacher for Dallas ISD.  Prior to this, he has taught at John Paul II High School in Plano (and served as science department chair) for five years.  He has also taught at Creekview High School, in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD for eight years, and South Garland High School (Garland ISD) for six years.  He has served as the lead chemistry teacher at Creekview High School.  Since starting his teaching career in 1990, he has taught regular chemistry, honors chemistry, Pre-AP Chemistry and AP Chemistry.  He has started three AP chemistry programs, at South Garland HS, Creekview HS, and most recently at John Paul II HS. 

He is involved with several professional organizations: Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT), Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas (ACT2), and the American Chemical Society.  He has presented workshops at several STAT Conferences for the Advancement of Science Teaching and Southwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society.  He has presented at two-day conferences and one-day conferences for the College Board and has been a presenter for APSI in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.  He served as a State Chemistry Textbook Review member for Texas in 2001.  He was co-founder of a Traveling Science Show that performed shows across the DFW Metroplex.  He wrote his own laboratory manual and study materials for use in his AP chemistry classes.  Mr. Abronowitz has received numerous awards including NMSI All-American Teacher of the Year 2012, Shultz Award for outstanding high school chemistry teacher from the DFW section of the ACS, Radio Shack National Teacher Award, Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas Teacher of the Year in 2000, and Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 1996. 


II.  AP Environmental Science (1010)

The unique focus for the week will be the investigation of the multidisciplinary nature of the environmental science curriculum--through terrestrial ecology, agriculture, and food resources.

Environmental Science is the most multidisciplinary of the AP science subjects.  This workshop will incorporate both lecture and laboratory aspects of the course.  Designed for the experienced and new AP Environmental Science teacher, this course will consider the challenges of starting, continuing, and enhancing a successful APES program.

You will complete a variety of field activities, including an array of useful techniques for analyzing plant and animal populations in terrestrial ecosystems.  Methods will incorporate both traditional techniques and calculator-based labs. 

The most useful websites for APES teachers and students will be investigated thoroughly. 

This institute will incorporate significant fieldwork and participants should be prepared for light hiking over short distances. 

Homework: You should bring a flash drive with a minimum capacity of 1GB to download all course materials.  The instructor will provide insect repellent and sunscreen as needed, but you might want to bring a camera, binoculars, notebook, hat, and walking boots or shoes for fieldwork.  You should make sure that you wear shoes you do not mind getting wet and/or muddy. 

Mr. Brian Kaestner teaches AP Environmental Science and AP Human Geography at Saint Mary's Hall in San Antonio, where he has been on the faculty for 32 years. 

In 1993, Brian received the "Special Recognition Award" from the College Board and was a TEA state nominee for the "Presidential Awards for Excellence." In 2000, he received he "Siemens Award for Advanced Placement Teaching." 

With a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Management, Brian also serves with the College Board as an Advanced Placement consultant and as a table leader at the APES reading.  he is also the moderator for the College Board APES Community Forum.  A veteran of both pubic (PA) and private (NY, TX) schools, Brian is in his thirty-sixth year of teaching and coaching soccer. 


III.  AP Physics 1 & 2 for Experienced Teachers (1011)

The College Board has made substantial changes to the Algebra-based physics course.  This includes added content, new question types, and a new set of science practices.  In this combined AP Physics 1 and 2 workshop, participants will hit the high points of the content, learn how to utilize new teaching resources, and practice new strategies in order to maximize student understanding and performance. 

Topics will include the following:

  • Building enrollment
  • Matching students with AP courses
  • Content: essential topics in both courses, newly-added material, trouble spots for students
  • Homework for maximum learning and minimum grading
  • Incorporating inquiry in labs and elsewhere
  • Modifying existing materials to fit the new curriculum framework
  • New exam: new question types and greater depth
  • Physics education research: teaching techniques derived from it
  • Planning the first year using pacing guides
  • Teaching students to think and write conceptually
  • Technology for labs and beyond
  • Tips from AP readers
  • Writing and submitting a syllabus

Homework: Please bring a graphing calculator and copies of labs, demonstrations, or teaching tips to share.  You are also encouraged to bring a laptop and your class textbook.

Mr. Marc Reif teaches science at Fayetteville High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  He has been teaching AP Physics since 1998 and has presented AP Physics workshops in the United States and abroad.  He was a reader for the AP Physics exam from 2002 to 2007.  He served as the 2002-2003 University of Arkansas Physics Teacher in Residence, and is currently the U of A Visiting Master Teacher.  Mr. Reif has presented at national meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Teachers Teaching with Technology.  He holds an MAT in science from the University of North Carolina and received National Board Certification in 2005.


Week Two: July 7-10, 2014

I.  Pre-AP Biology (2021)

Pre-AP summer Institute offers the middle or high school educators the information, tools, and strategies needed to build successful Advanced Placement Programs in your schools. Through this training participants will strengthen their own professional skills and learn techniques to help students prepare for and connect with college.

During the training, teachers will learn to design laboratory experiences beyond the scientific method and will incorporate inquiry-based techniques within their traditional lab settings to foster critical thinking in students. The workshop conforms to the College Board's mission, particularly in promoting access and equity; the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards; the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS)Benchmarks for Science Literacy; and to AP science courses standards and skills.

Institute Goal: The sessions will illustrate the practical differences between traditional and inquiry-based labs, and help participants modify their own labs to include more inquiry-based strategies.

Learning Outcomes: After attending this institute, participants will be able to: Identify the basic characteristics of an inquiry-based lab and analyze how they are different from those of a traditional lab. Modify traditional labs to fit within an inquiry-based science curriculum. Foster inquiry and reasoning using research-based instructional strategies.

Dr. Umadevi Garimella , the director of UCA STEM Institute, received her PhD degree in botany and double masters degrees in botany and in chemistry. Dr. Garimella has 12 years of successful college level teaching and research career. She taught a wide range of courses in biology and chemistry and is actively involved in undergraduate and graduate research, published 21 scientific research papers in perreviewed journals and gave several presentations at professional meetings. As a director of the Institute, Dr. Garimella is responsible for the development, use and promotion of research-proven pedagogies and rigorous content in P-16 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Arkansas. She is the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)- Assurance provider and professional development approver for the University of Arkansas. In the last four years, she secured external funding of approximately $1.8 million and successfully completed more than 16 projects. At national level, Dr. Garimella is a College Board Consultant for AP Biology, member of NSF Review Panel for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program and the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. She served as an AP Exam Reader for Biology since 2008 and is a faculty consultant for the Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Sciences (AAIMS) program to increase participation and scores in AP courses.

Contact information: Email:

II.  AP Chemistry Combined (2022)

This workshop, intended for both new and experienced AP teachers, will emphasize the changes to the AP Chemistry curriculum and how best to address them.  Inquiry-based instruction will be emphasized throughout the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) method.  In addition to discussing techniques for teaching the new curriculum, direction for completing the course audit will also be provided.   

Mr. Stephen Prilliman is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Oklahoma City University.  Prior to that, Stephen taught Pre-AP and AP Chemistry for six years at Harding Charter Preparatory, an urban high school in Oklahoma City.  Stephen is a practitioner and advocate of student-centered and inquiry based methods of teaching, and has used POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) with both high school and university students for nine years.  Stephen has been leading College Board and POGIL workshops since 2007.  He was an editor for the High School POGIL Initiative (HSPI), a co-author of a POGIL-based lab manual for PASCO Scientific, and is a reviewer of AP course audits.


Week Three: July 14-17, 2014


I.  AP Biology (3035)

This workshop is designed for new and experienced AP Biology teachers who are eager to learn about the AP Biology curriculum and instructional strategies that may be used in the curricular framework.  During this four-day workshop, you will engage in activities designed to familiarize you with the AP Biology framework and laboratory investigations, and we will discuss the exam and how to implement the curriculum into your classroom.  Inquiry-based instructional and assessment will be discussed as will issues of equity and access in the in the classroom and the AP program.  The course can and will be reasonably modified to accommodate discussions, according to your specific interests. 

Homework:  You should access the College Board AP Central website and review the AP Biology Course and Exam Description document, as well as the new lab manual, prior to the workshop.  In addition, computer use for parts of the workshop would be extremely useful--you are encouraged to bring your laptops.

Please review:

Ms. Tina Roberts earned a BSAg in biochemistry, an MS in physiology, and an Education Specialist in Science Education from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, where she is currently employed as an instructor.  Prior to entering the teaching side of academia, she spent 18 years conducting research and managing a nationally funded research laboratory which focused on the compartmentation of metabolism in vascular smooth muscle.  She has co-instructed APSIs in biology for over 10 years for Truman State University, and has presented at multiple one-day and multi-day workshops nationally.  Her experiences in the laboratory provide her with a strong understanding of inquiry, and she is particularly interested in helping teachers conceptualize authentic research experiences in their AP classrooms.


II.  Pre-AP Science for Middle School Teachers (3036)

This interactive, in-depth workshop gives you the tools to build or strengthen an AP Vertical Team, and to align science curriculum across grade levels.  In addition, you will learn and implement research-based instructional strategies to foster inquiry and reasoning in your students.  Emphasis is on science curricula grades 6-12. 

You will be exploring concepts, working through activities, participating in discussions, analyzing, reflecting, and recording implementation ideas throughout the workshop. 

The goal is for you to emerge from this workshop with inquiry-based model labs and lessons, an aligned set of learning progressions, and a practical action plan for a vertical team in order to prepare students for success in college-level courses.  You will learn how to align a curriculum through research-based methods of instruction in order to build students' scientific skills and knowledge. 

Mr. Robert Sylak has been an Environmental Science teacher for thirty-five years.  He has worked in the field for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and is currently serving on the ODNR Scenic Rivers Advisory Council.  He has served as an AP Environmental Science reader since the course's first year, and is currently a College Board consultant in Environmental Science and Vertical Teaming in Pre-AP Science. 


III.  AP Physics 1 for New Teachers (3037)

 The purpose of this workshop is to familiarize teachers new to AP Physics with the new Physics 1 curriculum content, instructional strategies, and assessment as described within the AP Physics 1 Course Framework. 

Workshop Goals:

  • Develop the breadth and depth of the AP Physics 1 content topics through problem solving and laboratory investigation
  • Formulate and successfully submit the Course Audit syllabus for Physics 1, Physics 2, or both
  • Develop familiarity with instructional strategies that promote interactive student engagement as required for course audit approval
  • review and trail run Physics 1 inquiry style labs
  • Share best practices with fellow pariticipants

Homework: Please bring a TI-84 style graphing calculator, a laptop computer (onto which you can load software), a device for creating and sharing digital photos (such as a smart phone, video recorder, laptop camera, etc.), and a willingness to actively engage with the material and other participants!

Mr. Jeff Funkhouser has been teaching physics at the academic, Pre-AP, and AP levels for more than a quarter of a century in the North Texas area.  He currently serves as the science department chair at Greenhill School in Addison, TX.  He has worked as exam leader, question leader, table leader, and reader at the annual AP Physics Reading in June since the summer of 2002.  He served on the AP Physics B test development committee from 2009-2013, including a stint as the co-chair of that committee during the last three years of its existence.  While performing consulting duties in the areas of Pre-AP Physics, AP Physics B, and AP Physics C since 1999, Jeff has delivered workshop sessions, full-day trainings, and week-long summer institutes throughout the Southwest Region, as well as in Seattle, WA, at the AP Annual Conference, and internationally in Dubai, UAE.  Jeff is the proud husband to his wife, Abby, and father to his daughters, Meredith and Melanie.









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