Biology Modeling Materials (beta version)

Biology Modeling Curriculum materials have been under development for several years. This effort was originally undertaken by biology teachers at Shady Side Academy (under the leadership of Anita Schuchardt) in Pittsburgh who developed resources for their Biology Last junior level course in a P-C-B sequence. Anita has since left Shadyside and is pursuing a (second) PhD. For the last few years, Angela Gard (who has led a number of Biology Modeling Workshops over the last three summers) has led the resource development effort for biology materials. These materials have been adapted for use in a biology-first sequence.

We stress that these materials are still very much under development. Use them with this in mind, and please feel free to offer the development team your feedback.

Storyline -This 2-page document describes the development of the concepts in this set of materials.


  • Unit 1: Experimental Design
  • Unit 2: Classifying Life
  • Unit 3: Evolution
  • Unit 4: Energy
  • Unit 5: Cell Structure and Function
  • Unit 6: Growth and Reproduction
  • Unit 7: Heredity

You must be an AMTA member to access the full set of curriculum resources. The AMTA member portal button will take you to the login screen at eWebLife.

If you have not joined AMTA or if your membership has expired click the appropriate button below.


60 thoughts on “Biology Modeling Materials (beta version)”

  1. Thank you so much! I will be trying out most of these units this year with my 9th/10th grade biology class.

  2. I will also be trying out most of these units. I have a 9th grade biology class. We should talk with each other with experiences, new ideas, etc in relation to using these materials. This is my first time using modeling. Our physics teachers use the physics modeling with wonderful results. I am excited to try this approach, though it is a very different way of thinking of biology teaching.

  3. For some reason I can’t find the reading about Gel Electrophoresis in Model 5. Does anyone have it or know where it is?

  4. It looks like it was inadvertently omitted from the folder with the units 4-6 resources. I have sent a copy to Sharon. In the meantime, till we get this folder fixed if you need a copy of this reading please write to me at and I will send it to you.

  5. Hello, I am unable to open any of the biology files other than the concepts inventory and pdfs. Any suggestions?

      1. When you open the folder of documents and scroll down you will see that there are two complete sets of documents in the folder. The titles of those at the top have a dot in front of their file name. These are the ones that do not open up into a document when you click on them–they just give you some gibberish characters. If you look at the file size for these documents they are very small–around 1 kilobyte. Scroll down to the ones down at the bottom of the list and you find the same files without the dot in front of the file name. You will see they are documents of standard length. These open in Word.

        Sorry for the confusion…for some reason when you zip files using a Macintosh computer and you then unzip them with a Windows computer these files with the dot on front of them are created. We haven’t yet figured out how to keep it from happening.

  6. I am not seeing anything under the content materials. I just joined AMTA so I could access biology resources–are there any currently posted?

  7. If you are logged in with your username and password your will see links above to download the materials we currently have, underneath the section marked content–if you click on “Units 1-3” or “Units 4-6” or the other two links below these the materials will download automatically.

    1. Thank you! I guess it my membership was not fully activated at the time I tried it. Now I see it.

  8. I will be using the biology unit next year. I can’t wait to see if it improves my students learning.

  9. Is there an answer key for the BCI given? I didn’t see it but I may just be missing it. It also was not given in the documents I got from my workshop although it is the same test.

  10. Just saw the previous post, could you also email the key to the concept inventory for biology also?


  11. I was recommended this blog by way of my cousin.
    I’m now not sure whether this publish is written by means of him as nobody else know such precise
    about my problem. You are amazing! Thank you!

  12. I am not seeing anything under the content materials. I just renewed my AMTA yesterday so I could access biology resources and others–below the outline it ask me to log in however I am already logged in. Also I believe I may have paid twice for the membership? is there a way you can check.


    1. I see you in the membership database–your membership status is active. You should see clickable links to curriculum materials right under the rainbow-colored line that is underneath the word “content”. You can’t see them unless you are logged in.

  13. I have been focused on learning and applying the Modeling Physics and Modeling Chemistry curricula over the last few years, and frankly have lost touch with developments of Modeling Biology. In looking over the recent Modeling Biology materials, I see the material have been evolving toward a Biology First approach. My school is in the midst of transitioning to a Physics First or P-C-B sequence. I am curious as to how teachers are applying or adapting the recent version of the Modeling Biology sequence when their school is doing Biology On Top in a P-C-B sequence, not Biology First.

  14. I’m having trouble downloading anything- once I unzip i’m getting a message that the files are corrupt. I am looking for the thirsty birds activity and resources.
    Can anyone help?
    thank you.

  15. I am a member and logged in and cannot see where to download Biology unit resources. Thanks

  16. I’m in need of a Unit 7 answer key, my computer is quite old and having problems downloading it.
    Could someone email it to me?

  17. Dear Colleen,

    I am not able to see any of the member materials, but I just ordered my membership. I am currently logged in, but the content section still says,

    “Member only materials
    You must be logged in to view these. Enter your username and password in the right side menu, or click here to join.”

    Does it take some time for my membership to take effect?

    Thank you for your help–I had to purchase this with my own $$!


  18. My science department is taking baby steps toward full modeling implementation. Would anyone have a recommendation on a Modeling biology blog(s)? I teach physics and have been modeling for the past 5 years.

  19. Hi Colleen – I renewed my membership a few weeks ago and when I am logged in it shows Status: Member, but the word “Member” is crossed out. I’m not sure what’s happening, and I can’t access the biology curriculum files here either. Thanks for your help!

  20. When you renew, our automated system sends a confirmation message with a link in it you have to click to confirm your membership. Sometimes it goes into peoples’ spam folder. You should be sure to check there. I found your membership and confirmed it manually for you–you are all set.

  21. Has anyone rearranged the unit sequence to better align with the new Ohio State Biology tests in March and May? Ecology material and cell process are not covered until the May test, but all other material is fair game for March test. I am concerned if I go in the order suggested, that I won’t get to heredity material before the test. Thoughts?

  22. I am also curious about the author for Exploring How Life Works or if anyone has a copy of the readings. Thanks!

    1. Exploring How Life Works. By Mahlon Hoagland, Bert Dodson, Judy Hauck.
      This ‘text” is available through and Jones and Bartlett Publishers (

      ISBN: 0-7637-1688-X

  23. I have downloaded and extracted the units multiple times with different programs but it either will not let me open because it says that parts are missing/corrupt or it opens but is just gibberish. Is there another way to get these files? Any special instructions for downloading and opening?
    Thank you!

    1. The key for this test can be found in Unit 0 of the Biology Modeling curriculum resources, which is downloadable on the members eweblife site. It is a spreadsheet with the key embedded.

  24. I can’t find answer keys for any worksheets or the inventory. I do not see a unit 0 either. Am I looking in the wrong place?
    Thank you.

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