AP Summer Institutes

Schoodic Institute offers Advanced Placement Summer Institutes on the Schoodic Education and Research Center campus in Acadia National Park. The park provides a unique setting for intense work with other teachers and institute instructors. There are accommodations for participating teachers on the Schoodic Institute campus at Schoodic Point, surrounded by spruce and fir forests and the Atlantic Ocean.  College credits provided through the Maine Educators’ Consortium.

The most intense and valuable learning experience I ever enjoyed as teacher was the APSI held at the Schoodic Institute located in Acadia National Park.  Here’s why:

  • Outstanding and professional instruction bringing veterans and newbies up to speed on the new curriculum.
  • Bucolic New England setting in one of America’s greatest national parks.
  • Meals were sumptuous and accommodation congenial and comfortable.
  • Warm and generous hospitality at the Institute itself was overwhelming.
  • Price was the most reasonable of all APSI options (that I am aware of…)

Tom Mueller
Teacher, APSI participant 2012

Course Descriptions for 2014 Summer Institutes at the Schoodic Education and Research Center in Acadia National Park 

Week One – July 28-August 1, 2014

Designed for teachers who have taught AP Chemistry at least three years or have attended a previous weeklong AP Chemistry APSI, this workshop will assume that teachers have confident control of existing AP Chemistry topics, with little time allowed for delivery of content (except for new topics). The course will emphasize the new AP course re-design in 2013-2014, including the new Chemistry Frameworks, the Inquiry-based Lab Manual, and the proposed changes to the AP exam. Participants will evaluate the new experiments in the highly anticipated College Board lab manual and will work at transforming existing favorite labs to inquiry-based labs.  The group will evaluate the actual 2013 tests and the 2013 Practice Exam in the new format in order to prepare to help students to succeed on the 2014 exam.  Finally, the group will plan to revise the AP Chemistry audit reports, as required of all AP Chemistry teachers by early 2014.
CEUs and Graduate Credit available. Instructor: David Hostage, The Taft School

This AP Summer Institute is designed for both new and experienced AP Environmental Science instructors teaching the APES course in Fall 2013. Because this interdisciplinary course incorporates elements from biology, chemistry, geology, and natural resource management, the laboratory component will focus on how to integrate and connect these areas thru developing the student’s quantitative analysis and lab skills. Our field/lab investigations will stress analysis through first-hand studies of Maine’s rocky intertidal ecosystem, water quality analysis, bioassays, soil analysis, and environmental modeling. It will address the basic course elements of effective course pacing, assessment, and active student engagement, as it focuses on the central role of the laboratory in the APES curriculum. The latest APES exam will be discussed, as well as the creation of effective essays which challenge students to integrate and connect course topics. Since all lab work will involve extensive data collection/analysis, a calculator, graph paper, colored pencils, and lab notebook will be required. In addition to the daily lab/field work, participants will also need to bring their 2013/14 school calendar and current text, as each will develop or refine (whichever is appropriate) a weekly pacing guide specific to their school’s schedule and calendar. Finally, all participants should bring an ecological/environmental laboratory (paper version) to share with the group, and should come prepared for daily field work: jeans, T-shirts, field shoes, and raingear.
Graduate credit and CEUs are available. Instructor: Myra Morgan, AP Environmental Science College Board Consultant and Assistant. Director of Science Services, MASS National Math & Science Initiative

AP US HISTORY: Teaching the Redesigned Curriculum

To quote FDR, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The purpose of this workshop is to explore every aspect of the AP US History curriculum redesign to lessen the fears many AP US History teachers have about the new curriculum. The core of the workshop will be to provide an understanding of the connections between the three pillars of the new curriculum: historical thinking skills, thematic learning objectives, and the concept outline. This will allow participants to collaborate to make new lessons or update old ones, to discuss the design and scoring of the new exam by reading student samples and working on creating new style multiple choice questions. Since all AP US History teachers will have to submit a new syllabus for approval by the College Board, time will be provided to create or revise participants’ course syllabi. All of these activities will require active collaboration by all participants who are encouraged to bring curricular materials to the workshop (textbooks, supplemental readings, favorite lessons, websites, activities).

Graduate credit pending and CEUs are available. Instructor:James Glinski, College Board Consultant in AP US History and AP European History, and teacher at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA.


Week Two – August 4-8, 2014

AP BIOLOGY: The New AP Biology Curriculum for AP Bio Instructors
Designed for both new and experienced teachers of AP Biology, this workshop will provide an introduction to the most important aspects of the newly revised curriculum. Particularly important will be the transition to inquiry-based, student-designed investigations, data analysis, and the required statistical components. It will focus on AP Biology’s “big ideas” and the science practices that are intended to make “doing science” a centerpiece of the revised course. Participants will get hands-on experience with the new lab manual, AP Biology Investigative Labs: An Inquiry-Based Approach. The course will also examine the new AP Biology exam design, essay grading approaches, and “best practices” for student success. In support of the new AP Audit requirements, participants will develop an effective AP Biology pacing guide/syllabus specific to their school’s daily schedule and calendar. Since all lab work will involve extensive data collection/analysis, participants will need to bring a lab notebook, calculator, ruler and graph paper. Additionally, their 2013/14 school calendar, current text, and one effective Biology lab experience (paper version) to share with other participants will be required.
Graduate credit and CEUs are available. Instructor: Myra Morgan, AP Biology College Board Consultant and Assistant Director of Science Services, MASS National Math & Science Initiative 

This workshop will help both new and experienced AP teachers address key challenges of the course, including coverage of the content, test taking strategies, lesson plan development, activities, resources, and curriculum planning. It will also examine previous student exams in terms of strategies and the College Board scoring rubric.
Graduate credit and CEUs available. Instructor: Lee Pete Pedersen, Maine School of Science and Math

The redesigned AP Chemistry program will be in effect for the 2013-2014 school year.  The new course focuses on reasoning and inquiry skills that are essential for success at the college level.  The revised course emphasizes inquiry-based labs that are more student-directed and centers on a more conceptual, qualitative understanding of chemistry with less breadth and more depth. The APSI at Schoodic Institute is dedicated to supporting new AP teachers as they design their courses to address this new curriculum framework. Teachers will examine and become familiar with the curriculum components and practice the “guided inquiry” approach to lab work. Experiments from the newly released AP lab manual will be performed. Design and designing strategies for modifying “cookbook” labs will be another important focus of this summer institute. Time will be devoted to working on the new practice test and to redesigning questions to be more in line with conceptual objectives.  The session will examine a classroom approach to inquiry where emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking and analysis outside of the laboratory setting. Activities that include formative assessment, group discussion and presentation, and prediction will be discussed and practiced.  Since a syllabus for the new course is due by January, 2014, some time will be devoted to creating a syllabus that reflects the requirements of the new course.  Finally, any new topics and/or points of emphasis introduced in the new curriculum will be addressed.
CEUs and Graduate Credit available . Instructor, Michael Schaab, Maine Maritime Academy


The emphasis this year will be exploration and integration of the 3 new, required APCS Labs (new for 2014-15). All APCS teachers, novice through experienced, are welcome.  We will incorporate the new APCS Labs as we discuss typical problem areas and topics from the APCS curriculum including some introductory Java explorations, Strings, arrays (one- and two-dimensional), the ArrayList data structure, and some object-oriented program design with inheritance. Participants will develop and share materials for classroom use. Teaching strategies, preparation for the AP Computer Science A exam, scoring rubrics, and course requirements will be discussed. Note: it is assumed that novice APCS participants have some Java programming experience, or have significant programming/teaching experience with another language similar to Java.

CEUs and Graduate Credit availableInstructor: Stephanie (Stevie) Lord, College Board Consultant, Stetson, ME

With its emphasis on rhetoric, argumentation, and writing, the AP English Language and Composition course invites students into a world of considered citizenship and mindful scholarship. Through this workshop, both new and experienced teachers of AP English will be able to establish or revise their AP practice and curriculum around rhetoric and nonfiction, focusing on activities that accompany close reading, rhetorical analysis, and source-based argumentation. Participants will discover ways to bring new approaches and materials such as image-based texts into their courses by designing model units. Personal essays, speeches, memoirs, and letters by authors such as Dillard, Oates, White, Didion, Hazlitt, Capote, Sontag, Johnson, Mead, Lincoln, and Murray will be among those considered. Participants are urged to bring new units that they are in the process of developing. Recent AP Examination questions and scoring practices will be reviewed.
CEUs and Graduate Credit available. Instructors: John and Claudette Brassil

The AP World History workshop will help both new and experienced AP teachers, including a review of recent changes to the AP World History Exam. It will address key challenges of the course, including coverage of the content, test taking strategies, lessons, activities, resources and curriculum planning. It will also examine the Document Based Essay and Free Response Essays in terms of strategies, the College Board scoring rubric, and the analysis of actual student papers. Participants will be asked to bring some of their best practices (lessons, resources, unit plans, books, films, and syllabi) for sharing and discussion with the group. The instructor will provide a thumb drive of hundreds of files, including assignments, tests, projects, and strategies.
Graduate credits and CEUs are availableInstructor: Dr. Lenore Schneider, New Canaan High School, New Canaan, CT

Registration for the 2014 AP Summer Institutes at Schoodic Institute is closed.  Please check back for 2015.

 An Ideal Setting for Inquiry
The biology and advanced environmental science institutes take advantage of the National Park’s unique resources and the variety of rocky intertidal environments around the campus. Both of these institutes are geared for instructors who have already had experience in teaching AP Biology or Environmental Science and who have perhaps already participated in another summer institute. The focus in both of these institutes will be on incorporating more inquiry learning into the coursework. For example, the AP Biology institute will engage teachers in an extended inquiry exercise in the intertidal areas around the campus. Teachers will use this field experience to reflect on and plan for using fieldwork around their home schools to bring experiential learning dimensions to the courses that they teach. This particular institute will complement indoor lab work that is often covered in detail in other AP summer institutes.

Support for Teachers
We often have a number of scholarships available for teachers (both for teachers in Maine and teachers from out of state), covering a substantial portion of the cost of the summer institutes.

Yvonne Davis
Education Programs Coordinator
Schoodic Institute
PO Box 277
Winter Harbor, ME 04693
(207) 288-1327
(207) 963-2409 (fax)