bhsdobsonfall2019 project 4

Project by group bhsdobsonfall2019

Info

Explore We know that plants need soil, water, and light to grow from our experiences outside of school. In class we discovered that plants photosynthesize and preform cellular respiration. Where do plants get their mass from?
Research Question Do different plants photosynthesize at different rates?
Predictions We think that plants do photosynthesize at different rates because of their size. The bigger the plant the more light it can absorb, then is photosynthesizes at a faster rate than smaller plants.
Experimental Design We put 3 grams of three different kinds of plants (Submerged, terrestrial, and floating) in Phenol Red and put them under a light for 24 hours to see which would photosynthesize at the highest rate.
Conclusion We found that the Elodea (the submerged plant) performed photosynthesis at the highest rate. The Phenol Red with the spinach (the terrestrial plant) stayed the same and surprisingly, the the Phenol Red with the Duckweed (the floating plant) turned yellow. We believe the reason for this is because...

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PlantingScience Staff
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PlantingScience Staff
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Farewell and Best Wishes
As this research project is now in the final stages of wrapping-up, we wish to thank everyone who participated in this inquiry; the students, mentors, teachers and others behind the scenes. We appreciate all of your efforts and contributions to this online learning community.

Scientific exploration is a process of discovery that can be fun! There are many unanswered questions about plants just waiting for new scientists to consider, investigate, and share.

After the end of the session, we will be updating the platform and archiving groups and projects, after which time new updates/posts will not be able to be added to projects or groups. Please come back and visit the PlantingScience Project Gallery anytime to view this project in the future. You can search the Gallery by keyword, team name, topic, or school name.

Good bye for now.
Warm regards,
The PlantingScience team
PlantingScience Staff
said
Looks like you are in the final stages of your projects.
It’s great to see that teams from your school are wrapping up and posting conclusions. Enjoy the final stages of your project, and feel free to post any final comments or questions you have for your mentors.
Daniel K. Gladish
said

Dear Jeremy, Zachary, and Mercedeez

You are very welcome.  In the 10 yr or so I’ve been doing this, you folks were probably the most involved and responsive group I’ve worked with.  The pleasure was mine.  I wish you well in your future studies.

Cheers, Dr. Dan

Jeremy
said

Dear Dr. Dan,

I would like to thank you for all the questions you have answered. We have learned so much about  photosynthesis. Without you we wouldn't have been able to have the success that we did.

Goodbye,

Jeremy

Zachary
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Mercedeez
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Zachary
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Hola, Dr. Dan, how are you? 

So after our experiment we found that the control (Which was just phenol red in a cup) became slightly darker. Do you know why this happened? We can't figure it out. 

Gracias, 

Zachary

Zachary
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Zachary
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Jeremy
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Dear Daniel,

A YouTuber that goes by the name of Mr. Beast started an organization that has a goal to plant 20 million trees($1=1 tree). They are doing it with money that is being donated to them. Will this have an effect in the world? If so, how much affect will this have?

Thank you

Jeremy

Mercedeez
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Daniel K. Gladish
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Dear Zachary:

What does photosynthesis make glucose from*?  What molecules?  Since all chemical syntheses require energy, what is the energy source?  (I know you know that one!  It’s in the name of the process.)

*Actually, photosynthesis makes two kinds of three-carbon sugars from which glucose can be assembled if the plant cell needs glucose.  This is probably beyond what Ms. Dobson planned on telling you, but those two molecule types (glyceraldehyde and dihydroxyacetone) can be used to build lots of molecules that plant cells need, and they can be fed directly into the middle part of glycolysis, which conserves energy by skipping the energy-requiring first part.

So then, when a plant or animal cell releases energy from food molecules by respiration, where did that energy actually originate?

Best wishes, Dr. Dan

Daniel K. Gladish
said

Dear Team 4:

I was discussing definitions with Ms. Dobson and one of the other mentors yesterday, and I ran across the following blunder in the dictionary on my computer (my trusty printed collegiate dictionary did not make this mistake).  Can you spot what’s wrong with this definition?

 

respire | rəˈspī(ə)r |

verb

breathe: [no object] he lay back, respiring deeply | [with object] : a country where fresh air seems impossible to respire.

(of a plant) carry out respiration, especially at night when photosynthesis has ceased.

 

There is also a slight misconception conveyed in the definition of "respiration" in the same dictionary (also not present in my printed collegiate dictionary.  This is why I think everyone should have a good-quality, printed dictionary of her/his own.  Mine is a Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate 11th Edit.)  The Internet has a lot of good information, but it also has a lot of bad information too.  Printed materials from reputable publishers, like Merriam-Webster and your textbook publishers, have human editors with reputations to protect, so they try to prevent crap from appearing in their books.

 

respiration | ˌrespəˈrāSH(ə)n |

noun

the action of breathing: opiates affect respiration.

Biology a process in living organisms involving the production of energy, typically with the intake of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide from the oxidation of complex organic substances.

 

I’ll explain this one.  Notice it said "the production of energy".  Well, respiration "produces" energy only in the same sense that burning gasoline does.  The energy is not created; it is released from molecules of foo/fuel.  The energy is trapped in the bonds (mostly) between carbon atoms in the food molecules, and respiration transfers that energy to cellular machinery where it is used to do work.  When that energy is pulled out it causes the food molecules to fall apart, and the carbon (plus oxygen) gets released as CO2.

People sometimes make this same mistake by saying that photosynthesis creates energy.  Nope.  What does photosynthesis actually (literally) do?  

Cheers, Dr. Dan

    Zachary
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    Hey sir, how’s it going? 
     

    Photosynthesis actually makes glucose. 

    Zachary

Daniel K. Gladish
said

Dear Team 4:

Something else to think about —

1. The research question you posed on your project page was:

Do different plants photosynthesize at different rates?

2. And you hypothesized:

We think that plants do photosynthesize at different rates because of their size. The bigger the plant the more light it can absorb, then is photosynthesizes at a faster rate than smaller plants.

3. And then you stated in the "Experimental Design" section that you would do the leaf disk procedure with different kinds of leaves.

 

If you can handle a little criticism, I’d like to point out that the disk procedure will not compare plants of different sizes, but it is great for comparing leaves of different kinds (species) of plants.  It is also good for comparing leaves of the same species but different ages.  (Leaves at the tips of branches are younger than those located near the branch base.)  That’s OK; I think you are able to revise #1 to "different species" and revise #2 … well, because of some other factor you can probably think of related to differences between species.  Plant species do differ a lot.

But consider your original Question #1.  What does "rate of photosynthesis" mean?  Do you mean amount of food made per minute per plant?  Logically, if two individual plants are the same species but different sizes, and everything else (like light, temperature, water and mineral availability) being equal, the bigger plant would would produce more food.  Probably a better way to think of rate in this context would be amount of food per minute per gram of leaf biomass.  That way you can easily compare different species to each other or plants of the same species but different ages (or sizes).  The disk assay is perfect for that.

You can also test things like temperature or light color.  Do you think photosynthesis rate would be different at different temperatures?  What would that disk experiment look like?

Please try to find time to try to answer these questions.  Dr. Dan

    Jeremy
    said

    Dear Daniel,

    What we meant by "rate of photosynthesis" is which leaf discs float first. I like your suggestion of changing the temp. We would have 10 leaf disc in every beaker with the air removed from the discs. One beaker would have cold water, one at room temp, and one with hot water. We would blow into each of the beakers to add CO2. Finally put them under a light lamp and see how temp affects photosynthesis.

      Thank you, Jeremy

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