In the first part of this activity, students learn how to use the floating leaf disk method to measure the rate of net photosynthesis (i.e. the rate of photosynthesis minus the rate of cellular respiration). They use this method to show that net photosynthesis occurs in leaf disks in a solution of sodium bicarbonate, but not in water. Questions guide students in reviewing the relevant biology and analyzing and interpreting their results. In the second part of this activity, student groups develop hypotheses about factors that influence the rate of net photosynthesis, and then each student group designs and carries out an investigation to test the effects of one of these factors. (NGSS)


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