Investigating Photosynthesis

Following a brief review of photosynthesis and leaf anatomy, students set up several experiments to study the affects of light, carbon dioxide, and temperature on the rate of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process in which plants convert sunlight into usable chemical energy (sugar). Students learned how to measure the rate of photosynthesis indirectly by preparing and using a floating leaf disk procedure to measure oxygen production in spinach leaves. They then used this leaf disk procedure to examine how photosynthesis can be affected by several environmental factors. Ask your student to tell you how red versus green light, warm versus cold temperatures or dim versus bright light can affect photosynthesis!


Investigando la Fotosíntesis

 Después de haber revisado la anatomía de las hojas y la fotosíntesis que es el proceso mediante el cual las plantas convierten la luz solar en energía química (azúcar). Los estudiantes desarrollaron varios experimentos para estudiar los efectos que tiene la luz, el dióxido de carbono y la temperatura sobre ésta. Además aprendieron cómo medir la tasa de fotosíntesis de manera indirecta, para ello se midió la producción de oxígeno a través del procedimiento de “disco de hoja flotante”. Luego, utilizaron este mismo procedimiento para examinar cómo la fotosíntesis puede ser afectada por diversas condiciones ambientales. Pida a su hija o hijo que le cuente cómo los distintos colores y tipos de luz junto con la temperatura afectan la fotosíntesis.


Does your child enjoy our visits? Please consider supporting our program so we can reach more students!


Leighann Sullivan earned her BS in Biology from Cornell University. For a number of years she taught math, science, and language skills at a secondary school for learning disabled students. She subsequently earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University. Her dissertation was entitled, “Molecular and Genomic Analyses in Clostridium acetobutylicum.” When not pursuing academic interests she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and experimenting in the culinary arts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.