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In the Water Potential Advanced Inquiry Lab Kit for AP* Biology, study the effect of salt on plant cells in order to form and test a hypothesis in an experiment.

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Big Idea 2, Investigation 4, Science Practices 2, 4, 5. Interactions between selectively permeable membranes, water, and solutes are critical to all cellular and organism functions. Even ecosystems are affected by the flow of water into, through, and out of plants and animals. Water and nutrients move through plant and animal cells due to differences in water potential. In this Flinn Advanced Inquiry Lab, students begin with a Baseline Activity that allows them to study the effect of salt on a typical plant cell using a compound microscope. Their observations provide the basis for the Opportunities for Inquiry section of the lab. Questions such as, “How can water potential be determined for living plant tissues?” and “How would cooking affect water potential?” help to 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. Compound microscopes, 0.01-g precision balances, a purple onion, and various tubers are required and available separately.