The 8 Major Themes are:
8 THEMES OF AP BIOLOGYTheme 1: SCIENCE AS A PROCESS
Description: Science is a way of knowing. It can involve a discovery process using inductive reasoning, or it can be a process of hypothesis testing.
Clarification: Provide examples of how the scientific process has been used to develop our knowledge about how the biological world works.
Theme 2: EVOLUTION
Description: Biological change of organisms that occurs over time. Which is driven by the process of natural selection. Evolution accounts for the diversity of life on Earth.
Clarification: Provide examples of evolutionary change in populations of organisms that we have been able to observe or have evidence of.
Theme 3: ENERGY TRANSFER
Description: Energy is the capacity to do work. All living organisms are active (living) because of their abilities to link energy reactions to the biochemical reactions that take place within their cells.
Clarification: Provide examples of how organisms are able to capture energy and utilize it to do the work that supports life.
Theme 4: CONTINUITY & CHANGE
Explanation: All species tend to maintain themselves from generation to generation using the same genetic code. However, there are genetic mechanisms that lead to change over time, or evolution.
Clarification: Provide examples of how organisms reproduce while maintaining the same genetic information from generation to generation AND also examples of how organisms reproduce while accumulating changes to their genetic information from generation to generation.
Theme 5: RELATIONSHIP OF STRUCTURE & FUNCTION
Explanation: The structural levels from molecules to organisms ensure successful functioning in all living organisms and living systems.
Clarification: Provide examples of structure-function relationships in living organisms. How specific molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, and body structures are structured to support the functions that they perform. (Don't forget plants!)
Theme 6: REGULATION
Explanation: Everything from cells to organisms to ecosystems is in a state of dynamic balance that must be controlled by positive or negative feedback mechanisms.
Clarification: Provide examples of how a dynamic equilibrium is maintained at different levels of life, from homesostatic control of cellular and body conditions to maintenance of population levels in ecosystems.
Theme 7: INTERDEPENDENCE IN NATURE
Explanation: Living organisms rarely exist alone in nature.
Clarification: Provide examples of how organisms must interact together to live successfully.
Theme 8: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY
Explanation: Scientific research often leads to technological advances that can have positive and/or negative impacts upon society as a whole.
Clarification: Provide examples of how technological innovations have helped advance science while those technological accomplishments may have also had either beneficial or deleterious impacts on human society.