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Chat times for 2023-2024
11:00a-12:30p ET/8:00a-9:30a PT

Dr. Christe Ann McMenomy

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Laboratory Requirements and Equipment

Lab Expectations for the Scholars Online Biology Course

LABS ARE NOT OPTIONAL. Completion of eighteen specific labs is required for students taking this Course. You should, if you are preparing for the AP exam, focus on those designated as AP investigations in the lab instructions.

All labs for credit must be completed by the close of the school year in June, unless you make special arrangements with the instructor.

Most lab assignments will be available from the web site at the start of the school year. Labs will be associated with specific topics, and you are required to complete the lab and send in the report during during the assignment period. You make make arrangements to complete some labs out of sequence if you have trouble obtaining equipment. Field labs must be done in the order and at the intervals specified, unless weather conditions prevent completion at the scheduled time.

IMPORTANT! For safety reasons, both you and your parents must read the safety procedures before starting the lab sequence. Your parents must sign and send a copy of the lab permission letterto me before I can accept any lab reports from you for credit.

Lab Equipment

Students should be able to perform most labs with only some special equipment (thermometers, test tubes or beakers, microscopes) and some purchased chemicals. Most biology labs can be done with household materials and students performing these labs will generally find it less expensive to obtain materials on a lab by lab basis.

If you to complete an AP-level lab program using the labs identified as compliant with the 2018 AP standards, and wish to purchase a kit rather than individual items, Robert B. Thompson has assembled several versions of the equipment and materials required to perform most of the experiments in his Illustrated Guide to Home Biology lab manual available The Home Scientist. The basic version (BK01A) contains most of the materials required to complete labs in this course if you wish to submit them for review to a college committee for credit, except for a microscope and common household or easily obtained stationary items.

Buying your own equipment for the Labs

In addition to the equipment listed below, many labs will use common household items, such as paper, pens, rulers, cups or jars, food samples, plastic bags, etc. These will be listed in the equipment section of the individual labs. In addition to equipment, the field labs require that you have an outdoor area which you can study throughout the year.

This list is still incomplete. It includes all equipment and materials used in alternative labs, but not all equipment and materials required for more extensive exercise sets. Check back for chemicals and sources.

Field Labs

Microscope Labs

General Lab Equipment and Materials


Lab equipment may be borrowed from schools or purchased. Sometimes local college bookstores or medical schools carry dissection kits; staining kits and other supplies are often available from educational toy stores and science museums. You may also want to check my growing list of mail order suppliers.