Students in Mrs. Cloud’s Biology class learned about the complexities of photosynthesis by bringing the process to life during a recent lab. They used metallic markers to draw the structures and components of photosynthesis, and Playdoh was used to represent the reactants and products of photosynthesis.
Students began by writing the chemical equation for photosynthesis: 6CO2 + 6 H2O + light energy –> C6H12O6 + 6O2. They then delved into the phases of the process.
- Phase 1 is the Light Dependent Reaction Phase, which occurs in the thylakoid membrane. The thylakoid is a flattened sac within the chloroplast.
- Phase 2 is the Light Independent Reaction Phase, or the Calvin Cycle, which occurs in the stroma, which is outside of the thylakoid but still within the chloroplast.
Students labeled all structures and steps of each phase and used the Playdoh to demonstrate how plants, and other autotrophs, take the light energy from the sun, carbon dioxide and water to produce the chemical energy found in glucose and oxygen.
Students commented that this was a fun and helpful way to learn photosynthesis.
Photos from the lab can be viewed here.