Welcome to the first Advanced Placement Science Impact Study newsletter!

About us

This study is a joint research project led by Mark Long, Dylan Conger, and Raymond McGhee Jr. with the assistance of a team of evaluators, analysts, and liaisons.  The AP Science Impact Study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is an innovative research effort dedicated to providing experimental evidence on the impact of Advanced Placement Biology and Chemistry courses on students.  We examine the effects of the College Board’s recently updated inquiry-based science curricula on students’ confidence and abilities in scientific inquiry and their post-high school plans. 

You are receiving this newsletter because you have expressed interest in the study at some point during the last few years, and because of your involvement in education practice, policy, and research.   

Where we are now

Three cohorts of participants were randomized into either a treatment group that was offered enrollment in a new AP Biology or Chemistry course (fielded in 2013-14, 2014-15, or 2015-16) or into a control group that was able to take other courses offered by the school.  Most of these students have now completed their high school career.  Now that participants have had the opportunity to take the designated AP course, we have begun to analyze their academic experience, scientific inquiry skills, and post-high school plans. 


Mark Long will be presenting preliminary findings at the Fall 2016 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) conference on Friday, November 4th at 10:15 AM in Washington, DC.  The paper, Effects of Advanced Placement Science Courses on Students' Science Interest and Ability: Evaluation from a Randomized Control Trial , will take place as part of a session on The Effect of Policies Aimed at Improving College Going and College Readiness.  The presentation will focus on the effect of AP science course access and participation on students’ self-reported ability to engage in various science practices; objectively-measured ability to conduct scientific inquiry; confidence in ability to complete college Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) courses; and interest in pursuing a STEM major.

Dylan Conger will also be presenting the paper at the Southern Economic Association (SEA) conference in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 19th 1:00-2:45 pm during the Economics of Postsecondary Education session.  

Members of the AP Science Impact team will also be discussants and chairs on multiple panels at the APPAM conference, including Mark Long and Michal Kurlaender on the Transitions into and out of College: The role of high schools, majors, and money panel and Dylan Conger on the Course-Taking and High School Student Outcomes panel.

New webpage

We have a new website!  You can find more information on the study, its background, who we are, and what we’re finding.

AP Science Study Webpage >>
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