Investigating Photosynthesis with Algae Balls

Overview:  In this lab, students will learn about photosynthesis by creating “algae balls”. They will immobilize algae in sodium alginate and measure the photosynthetic rate using a carbon dioxide indicator. This lab can be easily expanded to include student-centered investigations.

Curriculum Connections:  photosynthesis, cellular respiration, enzymes, plants, nutrient cycling

Experimental Timing:  From start to finish this lab can be completed in a single 60 minute class period or two 30-45 minute consecutive periods.  For additional information, see "Instructor Planning Guide" in the Teacher Materials.

Specialized Equipment Required: fluorescent light source • platform shaker or aquarium pump