Lab: Photosynthesis Lab


In this lab we will examine photosynthesis, one of the two major processes by which most organisms convert energy from an unusable form to a usable chemical form (photosynthesis), and then convert that chemical energy into ATP, the energy currency of the cell (cellular respiration).

Go to the lab and follow the procedures there. Download your lab report form and fill it out as you move through the lab.

We begin with a definition of each process: Photosynthesis: Conversion of unusable sunlight energy into the energy locked inside the covalent bonds of glucose (a simple sugar you recall from previous labs). Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) serve as the raw materials that the cells assembles into sugar (C6H12O6), with dioxygen (O2) given off (as a by-product).

Cellular Respiration: Transfer of the energy locked inside glucose (and sometimes other molecules) into the most readily usable energy for cells, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Sugar and dioxygen are the starting products that produce carbon dioxide and water plus heat and ATP (“recharged” from the lower energy form, ADP, Adenosine Diphosphate).


  1. Learn about the requirements for the photosynthesis process to occur
  2. Conduct a series of guided investigations in a virtual science lab

Think about it:

  1. Which of the Five Kingdoms of Life contain organisms that carry out photosynthesis?
  2. Which of the Five Kingdoms of Life contain organisms that carry out cellular respiration?

Recall the discussion of the characteristics of life at the beginning of the class. What characteristic of life does this lab deal with?