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Photosynthesis Lab Help

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I was wondering whether or not it would be worth my time to do a lab where I experiment with the color of light and its effect on photosynthesis.

My idea is to take different coloured gels and place them in front of a lamp and see how long it takes for leaf discs to rise. I would probably use something like baking soda or dish soap to remove the oxygen from the leaf discs. My thought is that as the light from a controlled source passes through the different coloured gels, photosynthesis would occur and cause the discs to fill with oxygen and rise at which point I would record the data and move on.

My question here is whether or not the gels would have as much of an effect, or any at all for that matter, as using food colouring and a colorimeter.

My only gripe with this lab is that it seems overly simple, to the point where freshmen could do it. My bio teacher is always telling us to do something simple but she's encouraging us to do things involving pH probes and more difficult equipment. Is my lab too simple and will result in a lower mark?


Will coloured gels give me the results I want?

Is my lab too simple?

Any suggestions that could give me a better lab/results?

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Hello there. For my photosynthesis lab last year I did an experiment like yours, but the factor I was experimenting with was the amount of baking soda added. Yes, that was very simplistic for a lab report at HL level.. Yours is pretty similar to the one I did, so I'm going to give you my opinion. :)

I think as long as your teacher thinks its fine for you to go with this experiment, you should trust in what she says. Remember, it also depends on the way your lab report is written, along with your quality of analysis. I tried out another experiment where I placed an aquatic plant in solutions of different pH levels and used a data logger to monitor the rate of photosynthesis, and I must tell you that it was very time consuming and decent results were hard to obtain :hmmph:

So.. I think your experiment sounds good, just go and check out if using coloured gels will give you the results you want. If not you could always try out something like temperature or even pH if you dare :P Tons of my classmates did really simple experiments for the photosynthesis lab and did pretty well so don't worry too much about it. Remember, it's also about how your final report turns out!

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