Education | Life Sciences


Students start learning about photosynthesis in early grade school, yet it is a topic they still struggle with in college. Misconceptions and lack of a deep understanding of photosynthesis may result from a paucity of quality science labs that address photosynthesis using inquiry. A quick internet search reveals that although a number of photosynthesis lessons are widely available, very few engage students in activities that allow them to actively construct an understanding of the principles of photosynthesis. Rather, most are cookbook style confirmation labs. The lesson presented here requires students to answer fundamental questions underlying photosynthesis using data they collected. This yields a deeper understanding and aligns with NGSS as students conduct an investigation and then use evidence to support their claims and make connections to other science topics.

Original Citation

Meyer, A., Rybczynski, S., & Herrington, D. (2016). Starchy surveillance. MSTA Journal, 61(2), 73-83. https://cdn.ymaws.com/msta-mich.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/journals/2016_msta_fall_journal_final.pdf