Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Photosynthesis

Introduction

Do you know how plants get the energy they need to grow and reproduce? They do not eat like humans and animals do; they make their own food with a process called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants convert light, water, and carbon dioxide from the air into oxygen and sugars. In this activity, you will be able to observe the oxygen production in leaves by doing a floating leaf disk experiment. You can also find out how quickly plants produce oxygen, and what variables affect photosynthesis. How much do you think light matters?

Credits

Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Transparent cups, 4 or more
  • Permanent marker
  • Baking soda
  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon
  • Dish soap
  • Light source (a bright light works best)
  • Single-hole puncher
  • Plant leaves (spinach or ivy leaves work best)
  • Plastic syringe, 10-mL or bigger (without the needle)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels
  • Timer
  • Lab notebook
  • Pencil or pen
  • Optional: Adult helper

 Materials needed for the 'Measure Photosynthesis with Floating Leaves' activity.

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Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Photosynthesis
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