Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Floating Spinach: Investigating Photosynthesis - Section 5: Instructional Input/Student Activities (Part 3)


You obstinate spinach disks!

So, I had it all figured out. I would prep all of the disks in the morning and then store them in the dark in order to have them ready for the kiddos. It is a bit tricky to exchange the gas inside the disks with the carbonated water in order to get them to sink at the start of the experiment. With the other two parts of the activity taking up a bit of the time it was important to be able to jump right into the lab. Well...

...those darn disks floated right away! So, I had to adjust the plan and teach how to prep the disks which took more time than planned. As a result, we only got a few disks to sink prior to setting them up under the lights. So, since failure is an option we took up the lab again the next day and the results were quite cool. Students clearly connected the action (or inaction) of the enzyme to photosynthesis to producing (oxygen) gas bubbles and the resulting floating effect. So, conceptually it really helped to set the stage for the academic aspect of this super important reaction!

Go scientists!

  Chewed off a bit much today...but it was so good!
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Chewed off a bit much today...but it was so good!
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Floating Spinach: Investigating Photosynthesis

Unit 2: 2) Cells ("Form and Function")
Lesson 20 of 20

Objective: SWBAT: 1) Understand that the main way solar energy is captured and stored on Earth is through the complex chemical process known as photosynthesis. 2) Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy. 3) Explain that the changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.

Big Idea: Photosynthesis can be easily modeled and investigated through the use of spinach leaf disks, carbonated water, and light.

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Science, Photosynthesis, Investigations / Tools / Measurement, cells, form vs. function, cause and effect, Systems and System Models, Energy and Matter, structure and function
  55 minutes
leaf disk
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