Environmental Science

Kristi Schertz

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Kristi Schertz is an experienced AP® consultant, professional development leader, author, curriculum developer, and coach for science, AP® courses, science literacy, and technology. She is currently in her 23rd year teaching and 16th year teaching AP® Environmental Science at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA. She is the author of the teacher’s edition for the new 4th edition of AP Environmental Science for the AP Course published by BFW.

Kristi holds a BA in Environmental Biology from California State University Northridge and a MEd in Science Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas Arlington. She has been an AP® reader since 2011 as well as a mentor to new science and AP® teachers. In addition, she is a published author of AP® practice tests and environmental science test prep guides. She also writes a popular blog site for AP® science teachers and enjoys working in the local community garden in her spare time.

Course Description

This course prepares both new and experienced teachers to effectively plan and teach AP Environmental Science. Participants will learn about the course format including the 9 instructional units, big ideas and science practices and how to use the new “AP Environmental Science Course and Exam and Description” book.

Experienced teachers will be able to revamp their current course to better align with the Course and Exam Description and Science Practices and strategically plan their entire year. New teachers will be able to design their course from the ground up to ensure a successful first year. All participants will have access to my extensive Google Drive for one year with everything they need including labs, exams, notes, activities and study guides.

Participants will learn about the AP test format and how to effectively prepare students. They will also gain experience with scoring and teaching free-response questions, multiple choice questions and strategies.

We will do new AP Environmental Science Lab Manual labs along with other labs and activities designed to purposefully integrate the science practices of experimental design, data collection and analysis and math calculations. Many of my labs are designed in the 5E format for student inquiry.

Participants will learn how to use textbooks, instructional materials and instructional strategies for all students to be successful. They will also have time to design their AP course including scaffolding, spiraling and equity and access strategies for all types of schools and students.

Participants will leave with essential materials, labs and lessons to have a great year teaching AP Environmental Science.

Items Participants Should Bring

Participants should bring a laptop or tablet that can access the internet, their chosen textbook (if they have one), a school calendar for the upcoming year, and closed toed shoes for labs and field studies.


  1. Understanding the AP Environmental Science Course Framework

  2. Understanding the AP Environmental Science Exam structure and strategies to prepare students

  3. Integrating science practices (skills) and content: Teaching for understanding

  4. Labs and activities that meet both content and science practices can include some of the following depending on participant needs.

    1. Example labs from the new AP Environmental Science Lab Manual.

    2. Climate Change and Cities Experimental Design Lab

    3. Salinization Lab and LD50

    4. Air Particulates Experimental Design Lab

    5. Human Demographics with Cemetery Data and Medical Advances Lab

    6. Water Quality Lab

  1. Literacy strategies for AP science

  2. How to teach analytical multiple-choice questions

  3. How to teach and score free response questions (FRQs)

  4. Strategies to use the AP Classroom website for formative and summative assessment

  5. Planning YOUR course and pacing calendar

  6. AP Exam test prep

  7. Textbooks, supplies and materials

  8. Equity and access

  9. Math strategies and lessons

  10. Instructional strategies-different ways to deliver content based on your student population and school.

  11. Online resources including AP Community

  12. Difficult content

The course agenda will adjust with feedback from participants to address the needs of the group.

This course will be assessed a $35 lab fee.