Visiting a science classroom here at St. Gregory today, I was greatly impressed with the thinking our seniors were doing in AP Biology.    An enormous degree of content mastery is required in AP Bio, but excellent teachers know their students need more than content mastery, they need also powerful thinking skills, intellectual tools to analyze and imagine and innovate and problem-solve.

I asked the students how their answers are graded, and they told me that Mr. Rolle is not looking necessarily for the right answer, but looking for good ideas and evidence that they are thinking well.    I think it is so important that we move away from looking for the right answer, and toward looking for deep thinking, inquiry, imagination and innovation.

These students were collaborating in small groups to deep think and address their weekly challenge questions, and teacher Kevin Rolle allowed me to share those problems here.

1. Early methods of preserving food included drying, salting, salting, and sugar-curing.  Offer a physiological explanation for the failure of spoilage bacteria and molds to grow readily on food treated in these manners.

2. Imagine an experiment that measures the initial rate of diffusion into cells placed in sucrose solutions of various concentrations.  Sketch a graph (initial diffusion rate versus solution concentration) that shows the result expected if diffusion is simple, and a graph that shows the result expected if sucrose enters by facilitated diffusion.