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Sodium Alginate Photosynthesis—Student Laboratory Kit

By: Pam Bryer, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME

Item #: FB2125 

Price: $75.40

With the Sodium Alginate Photosynthesis Student Laboratory Kit for biology, use spherification to make algae spheres, then measure the rate of photosynthesis under various conditions.

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This item can only be shipped to schools, museums and science centers

Product Details

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.


Materials Included in Kit:
Bristol’s algae media, concentrate, 100x, 100 mL
Bromthymol blue solution, 0.04%, 50 mL
Calcium chloride solution, 0.3 M, 500 mL
Sodium alginate, 10 g
Black construction paper, 9" x 12", 2
Cheesecloth, 1 sq. yd
Dishes, weighing, 1.5 g, 3½" x 3½" x 1", 30
Pipet, Beral-type, extra large bulb, 15
Pipet, dropping, 23 mL capacity
Reaction vials, 2 dram, 30
Syringe, disposable, 20 mL, 15

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Developing and using models

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
MS-PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life
HS-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
HS-LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
HS-PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Structure and function
Energy and matter
Systems and system models

Performance Expectations

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.