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Use this compelling method to quantify the rate of photosynthesis! With spherification, the process of trapping a liquid inside a gelatinous sphere, students make their own algae spheres. Students will be completely engaged as they see their slurry of algae coalesce into perfect spheres. Expose the spheres to different conditions and measure the productivity of the algae inside. These spheres are permeable to gases, making them great for investigations. Use a variety of methods to measure changes in the gas concentration and pH. This method makes is easy to control the amount of algae in the system so trials can be compared.
Complete for 30 student working in pairs. A Chlorella culture is required and must be purchased separately at least 2 weeks in advance of the lab.
MS-LS1-6: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
MS-LS1-7: Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism
HS-LS1-6: Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.
HS-LS1-7: Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed, resulting in a net transfer of energy.
HS-LS2-3: Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.