The year-long curriculum is equivalent to a first-year college course usually taken by biology majors, with emphasis on passing the AP Biology test in early May. The course extends and expands the “regular” (10th grade level) high school Biology course with respect to both the range and depth of topics covered, the kind of laboratory work performed by individual and small groups of students, and the time and effort required by the students in preparation for the detailed May exam. Topics covered include the biochemistry of life; cells and cell energetics; heredity; molecular genetics in viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes; evolution and natural selection; diversity of organisms and populations; structure and function of plants and animals; and ecology. Students will conduct suggested College Board AP Biology laboratories and hands-on activities both on- and off-campus. The primary emphasis is to develop an advanced understanding of biological concepts and their applications; a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and the application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns worldwide. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May at the end of the school year.