Investigating Photosynthesis with the SAPS / NCBE Photosynthesis Kit


This kit, supplied by the NCBE, allows students to investigate photosynthesis using algae immobilised in calcium alginate.

In this procedure, algae, immobilised in calcium alginate, provide a standardised amount of photosynthetic material, enabling semi-quantitative experiments to be undertaken. The rate of carbon dioxide uptake by the immobilised cells is used to measure the rate of photosynthesis; this can be done simply by observing the colour change of hydrogencarbonate indicator, either by eye or using a colorimeter.

The effect of varying the intensity or wavelength of the light may be studied, as can the effect of temperature or cell density. Different species of algae or cyanobacteria may also be tested. The kit is therefore ideal for individual practical investigations.

This kit is based upon work undertaken by Debbie Eldridge from King Ecgbert School (Sheffield) while working on a SAPS/Robinson College Schoolteacher Fellowship.

For further details, to download the student and teachers’ guides, and to order, see NCBE-SAPS photosynthesis kit.

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