In the Photosynthesis in Leaf Disks Advanced Inquiry Lab Kit for AP* Biology, form and test a hypothesis after studying the rate of photosynthesis using disks of leaf tissue that are vacuum-infiltrated.
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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 Flinn Advanced Inquiry Lab, 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 such as, “Do all leaf types photosynthesize at the same rate?” and “How might biotic and abiotic factors in the environment, such as light, pH, temperature, etc. affect the rate of photosynthesis?” 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. Ivy or fresh spinach and a 0.01-g precision balance are required and available separately.