Photosynthesis lab

Copyright to Northern Michigan University


  • Get a general idea about the process of photosynthesis
  • Comprehend the importance of photosynthesis on our life  
  • Learn to do a lab experiment
  • Learn to analyze/interpret data collected  
  • Learn how to use twitter


  • Computer with Excel, Powerpoint
  • Lab material (see below)

Make a twitter account

Twitter has become an extremely popular tool used by everyone for it simplicity. I want you to understand that it can used as an educational tool. I have made a twitter account for myself this class. The id is @MissHarani. I have also created an account for the students. The ID is @Bio888Students and the password is MissHarani. 

I know many of you have questions about the material in class. If you feel embarassed or don't want to raise your hand in class or if you simply have question while doing your homework or using any of the software, simply tweet them to me (@MissHarani) from the account I have set up for you. Here's a demonstration. 


Photosynthesis overview (10 minutes)

Photosynthesis is a process of taking inorganic material to make new organic matter. It is an important process that allows of us humans to survive. This process only occurs in green plants, blue-green algae, and certain bacteria. Plants are autotrophic; they capture light energy and make their own food using it. We will be looking at photosynthesis in detail next class. But before I explain all about it, we'll do a lab and you will try to come up all the information about photosynthesis.

LAb : Photosynthesis
(45 minuteS)


How does a seed become a tree? What do you think plants need to grow? why? 

Definitions to know

Control group: group that does not receive treatment in a controlled experiment
Experimental group: group that receives treatment in a controlled experiment
Independent variable: variable that the experimenter controls
Dependent variable: variable the experimenter measures (results)

*The following lab was proposed by Prof. J. Schneider for college level and modified by Miss Harani according to our class needs.

Preparation of lab 

Students will be divided into groups of 3 to 4. Each group will be given three small radish plants (4-6 inches in height). 

One plant will be the control group and will receive no treatment. Control plants will be placed in the same place in the classroom where they have adequate light. Each control plant will receive 25 mL of water daily. 

Each group will decide what variable they will test. 
      1. Light 
      2. Water
      3. Soil 
      4. Absence/presence of air

Each group will write a hypothesis and the procedure for the experiment. 

Students should use the tables that they made to take height measurements, count leaves, describe color of plant, rigidness of plant initially and after one week. 

Students will begin conducting their experiments after each receiving teacher approval. The teacher will provide all the materials necessary, but students are in charge of executing the experiment. 

Lab report

Student have to come up with a hypothesis on what they think will happen, on how their variable would affect hypothesis.