This week, students studied plants and how they make food by a process called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants use light energy (sunlight) to convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen.
Students participated in a game, which modeled the process of photosynthesis wherein students acted as plants and collected sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to convert molecules into glucose and oxygen. For each molecule of glucose created, their plant grew taller.
Students played a second round of the game with new factors that modeled limitations on a plant’s ability to collect the materials for photosynthesis: restricted sunlight, lack of water, or decreased ability to collect carbon dioxide and sunlight when a pest eats leaves. Students had to choose between growing rapidly or storing the glucose to help them grow when materials were not available. Successful plants were able to optimize storing the glucose and using it growing new leaves and roots to access the limited resources