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FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Labs for AP® Biology: Photosynthesis in Leaf Disks

By: The Flinn Staff

In the Photosynthesis in Leaf Disks Inquiry Lab Solution for AP® Biology, students form and test a hypothesis after studying the rate of photosynthesis using disks of leaf tissue that are vacuum-infiltrated.

Includes access to exclusive FlinnPREP™ digital content to combine the benefits of classroom, laboratory and digital learning. Each blended learning lab solution includes prelab videos about concepts, techniques and procedures, summary videos that relate the experiment to the AP® exam, and standards-based, tested inquiry labs with real sample data. FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Lab Solutions are adaptable to you and how you teach with multiple ways to access and run your AP® labs.

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Big Idea 2, Investigation 5, Science Practices 1, 2, 3, 6, 7

Ecosystems and the Earth’s atmosphere depend on photosynthesis for fuel and oxygen. The rate of photosynthesis can be measured by the production of oxygen or the consumption of carbon dioxide. Examine the factors that affect photosynthesis in land plants by using the most practical method for a school laboratory—the floating leaf disk technique.

In this Inquiry Lab Kit, students begin with a Baseline Activity to determine the rate of photosynthesis using disks of leaf tissue that are vacuum-infiltrated to replace intercellular air with liquid. Their observations provide the basis for the Opportunities for Inquiry section of the lab. Questions like, “Do all leaf types photosynthesize at the same rate?” and “How might biotic and abiotic factors in the environment, such as light, pH and temperature, affect the rate of photosynthesis?” help guide and inspire students to develop a testable hypothesis and then design an experiment that they can plan, discuss, evaluate, execute and finally justify to their peers.

Includes detailed teacher notes, reproducible student handouts and enough materials for eight groups of students to complete the Baseline Activity and to prepare for the inquiry activity. A 0.01-g precision balance, strong light sources, support stands and timers are required and available separately. Ivy or fresh spinach and  are also required. A refill kit for the Photosynthesis in Leaf Disks Inquiry Lab Kit is also available (FB2087).

FLINNprep is just one of the powerful learning pathways accessed via PAVO, Flinn’s award-winning gateway to standards-aligned digital science content paired with hands-on learning.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Asking questions and defining problems
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking

Disciplinary Core Ideas

HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-LS1.A: Structure and Function
HS-LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
HS-LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
Structure and function
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

HS-PS1-2. Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.
HS-LS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.
HS-LS1-5. Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.