Photosynthesis, Chemical Equations, Microscopes and Scientific Investigating
Exploring How Energy is Balanced as it Changes Form
Middle School students have been constructing a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms. They are developing a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as the food moves through an organism. Students cement their understanding by designing and performing experiments, evaluating evidence, and reaching conclusions by using microscopes to study plant cells (including guard cells, stomata, and chloroplast).
Group A (predominately 6th and 7th graders) are investigating the variation of stomata density in the top and bottom of the leaf, writing a hypothesis of their prediction and an explanation. They will define the variables and detail an experimentation method including materials, methods, and results to be collected. As a group, they will process the results and write a conclusion, explanation, and evaluation.
Group B (predominately 8th graders) are working more independently, selecting their investigation ranging from “How does stomata density vary on the edge of the leaf to the center of the leaf?” and “How does the density of stomata vary among leaves found on the same plant (leaves at the top and leaves at the very bottom?”