This page was last edited by - acetone acetone on May 9, 2012 8:39 am (GMT). (18 total edits)
Home | APBio
FRQ | Summer Work | Area IA | Area IB | Area IC | Area IIA | Area IIB | Area IIC | Area IIIA | Area IIIB | Area IIIC

AP Biology: Summer Work 2011 (this page is NOT current for 2012 - acetone acetone May 9, 2012)


Due dates
Task guidelines
Task Point Breakdown


6/12/10: I want to clarify and emphasize some points about submission and deadlines.
  1. I require a hard copy of all your work. Hard copies can be delivered to the high school office in person or using a postal service.
  2. I require an electronic or digital copy of all of your typed work (everything but drawings). Electronic copies can also be delivered to the high school office (on a CD, flash drive, etc.) or emailed to me. If you choose the email option, please make sure your file is a reasonable size.

Due dates

Check out an AP Biology textbook.
Task 5 is due Friday, July 8, 2011. (You need a Chemistry book for this - see description)
Tasks 1-4 are due Friday, July 22, 2011.

The assignments must be postmarked (whether by the relevant postal service, email client, or the High School Office if you bring the work in person) no later than the dates listed above. If you send your work by mail, please direct it to the attention of Mr. Klein. I will only grade hard copies of your work.

I also require a digital copy of your work contained in one file so that I can check it at The file can be emailed to me as an attachment or put on a CD. Microsoft Word or plain text documents are preferred. PDF files will not be accepted. If you need to make special arrangements for submitting your work (for instance, if you know you will be out of town), then make alternate arrangements with me at least two weeks before each deadline.


Read assigned parts of Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe, and complete the tasks related to the reading.
  • Author: Michael J. Behe
  • Publisher: Touchstone Book published by Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN-10: 0-684-83493-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-684-83493-1

Task Guidelines

1. Every task but the cell task must be typed.
2. All answers should be numbered and demonstrate an ability to organize one’s thoughts.
3. Essays must be in paragraph form, outlines must be in outline form, and the chart must be in chart form. Be complete, but do not feel compelled to add flowery language or clever literary devices.
4. You are not graded on length. I have a checklist of facts that should be included and you get a point whenever you adequately address one of those facts. I would expect each essay to take at least a page to answer for full credit.
5. Include a works cited page if you cite works or a references page if you do not cite works. See the VCS Writing Handbook for guidelines on when to cite works. The minimum source to be listed would be Darwin’s Black Box. You do not have to cite sources for drawings of organelles. The format can be found in the Writing Handbook. (10 points)


1. The Chemistry of Life: The appendix of Darwin’s Black Box gives background information about cellular chemistry and structures. I recommend reading it first (before the rest of the book).
  • a. Cells: Create a chart showing the major organelles in a typical eukaryotic cell. For each organelle, include its name, a drawing, and descriptions of its structure (how it is built) and function (what it does). Make explicit connections between how the structure contributes to the function, for instance "the inner membrane of a mitochondrion is folded to increase surface area and therefore perform more chemical reactions". (25 points)

  • Considerations: I will only be looking for the organelles mentioned in Darwin's Black Box (make sure you include each of them!), so feel free to omit others you might find in your textbook. Online or textbook references can help you (but be careful not to copy, reword, or otherwise plagiarize those sources). Make the chart small enough to fit into a 3-ring binder. It can be foldable (several sheets of paper attached to one another). You can make the chart by hand, but I highly recommend using Word (or other word processor) to make a table and then draw the pictures on the printed copy (I understand that you might not be able to email all of this to me, and that is okay). Make the chart in such a way that it will be useful to you as a reference.

  • b. Macromolecules: Describe or illustrate in a series of drawings the structure of proteins and the process of building proteins. (15 points)

  • Questions to consider: What are the four levels of structure? What are transcription and translation? How do nucleic acids work together to produce proteins? Here’s a tip: keep your explanations at a level that would be suitable for someone not in a college-level biology course—we’ll get into the details later. Simply copying the illustrations in your textbook will not earn you full credit.

2. The Box is Opened: Outline chapters 1 and 2 of the book. Make clear in your outline the logic of the author and the meanings of key terms such as “black box,” “evolution,” “irreducible complexity,” and “minimal function.” (15 points)

Questions to consider: How does the author set the stage for the rest of the book? How does the eye simultaneously demonstrate Darwin’s ideas and pose problems for them? What does the reader need to understand to make sense of chapters that follow? You might want to read a couple more chapters before you write this outline. Your outline should probably be less than 10 pages in length.

3. Examining the Contents of the Box: Describe in detail one example of how (relatively) current biochemical knowledge is incompatible with Darwinian evolution. Describe both the example and how it refutes Darwinian evolution. If you think that Behe’s argument is somehow flawed or invalid, then you can write about that as well. Examples can be found in chapters 3-7; listed below are the topics of each. You do not have to read each of these chapters. (15 points)
  • a. chapter 3: cilia and flagella
  • b. chapter 4: blood clotting
  • c. chapter 5: intracellular transport
  • d. chapter 6: immunity
  • e. chapter 7: metabolism

4. Personal information: What are your main hobbies and interests? What are your current educational and career goals? Why are you taking this class? List all the classes you intend to take and extracurricular activities you intend to do this year. (10 points)

5. Chemistry Review: If you did not take Advanced Chemistry, then some additional work is required to get caught up in this area. The following table shows what you have to do depending on when you took chemistry. If you have to do additional work, then download, print, and complete the worksheets in the table using a Chemistry book. This is a matter of meeting the prerequisites for AP Biology. I recommend starting with earlier chapters and then working toward the end of the book.
Advanced Chemistry (anytime)
Chemistry 2009/10
Chemistry 2010/11

Task Point Breakdown

Darwin's Black Box-related items (80 points)
Personal essay included (10 points)
Reference List (10 points)


The definition of plagiarism might be much broader than you realize. Check out the Purdue OWL page on Avoiding Plagiarism or this page on Types of Plagiarism
If ideas, phrases, sentences, or structures of passages are copied from the internet or from the book and pasted into any essay without giving proper credit for it, that is considered plagiarism. See the Student/Parent Handbook and AP Authorization Contract if you are curious about the consequences of plagiarism.