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photosynthesis in action

Hands-on learning about photosynthesis

At Witherlea School, the Term 3 inquiry topic was science: the perfect fit for gardening which is all about science.

Students investigated photosynthesis: the process that plants use to make their food. The children learnt why the leaves are so important. They are mini food factories! The leaves use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to make sugar which gives the plants the energy they need to grow. Chlorophyll is the amazing compound that mixes the ingredients to make the sugar. The whole process takes place just under the surface of the leaves in the chloroplasts.

They found that the process of photosynthesis is not only important for the plants but also for us: this is because when the plants make their food, they release oxygen that we can breathe. The children wanted to look a little closer at how plants ‘breathe’. They submerged a leaf underwater and left it in a warm place. As the process of photosynthesis took place, the children saw the carbon dioxide that was being released forming small bubbles along the edges of the leaves. It was a great visual experiment that showed how amazing science can be.