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algae

 

 

 

Immobilised algae

 
Immobilised algae for studying photosynthesis
 
Students immobilise algae in calcium alginate, then use the entrapped cells to study photosynthesis by placing them in hydrogencarbonate indicator solution and observing the colour change as the carbon dioxide is depleted.

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Available languages uk1 fr1 pl2

 

 

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES
This protocol provides a semi-quantitative introduction to photosynthesis

 

PRE-KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS REQUIRED BY STUDENTS
Basic understanding of the biochemistry of photosynthesis. Knowledge of pH scale and the use of indicators.

 

TIME TAKEN IN LESSON
50 minutes

 

PREPARATION TIME
50 minutes

 

SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS REQUIRED
Sodium alginate; Hydrogencarbonate indicator; Culture of algae. A colorimeter is useful, but not essential.

 

CONTEXT WHERE ORIGINALLY USED
Used with students aged 14–16. Also suitable for older students, particularly if open-ended investigations are undertaken.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Sodium alginate is available from suppliers of laboratory chemicals (it is also widely used in the food industry). Suppliers of other resources are listed in the protocol. The NCBE will soon supply a kit for undertaking this work. Similar arrangements may exist in other countries.

 

AUTHOR
Debbie Eldridge (Science and Plants for Schools)

AUTHOR ADDRESS

Please contact:
NCBE
University of Reading
2 Earley Gate
Reading
RG6 6AU