The importance of photosynthesis for plants, other organisms and the biosphere. The mechanisms of light-dependent and light-independent reactions; and the factors influencing photosynthesis. Current and future applications of photosynthesis.

Learning/teaching objectives

The students are expected to:

  • analyse the tasks, results and importance of photosynthesis;
  • analyse the light dependent and light independent (dark) reactions of photosynthesis
  • relate physical plant characteristics (chloroplasts, pigments, stomata, etc) to their functions
  • understand the transfer of energy from light to usable chemical energy
  • plan and perform an inquiry, use experimental data to make conclusions about the factors influencing photosynthesis
  • communicate and present their ideas and results
  • apply their knowledge to the topics related to the current and future applications of photosynthesis
  • design a model of a space station
  • seek relevant information from different sources
  • conduct an experiment on planar chromatography of plant pigments,
    explain the results using scientific knowledge
  • work successfully as a team
  • develop their understanding of the nature of science aspects related to the knowledge of photosynthesis
  • take a responsible attitude towards living organisms

Pre-required knowledge and skills

The energy needs of organisms and the methods of energy production used by autotrophic and heteroprophic organisms; general flow of substances and energy in organisms; ATP as the universal intermediary for energy storage and transfers; respiration as a mechanism providing organisms with energy.
Suggested: Basic knowledge in organic chemistry, chemical bond (hydrogen bond)
Students are familiar with independent inquiry, planning and carrying out experiments using safe and sustainable working methods.

Common misconception

Students often misunderstand the basic process of photosynthesis. Rather than believing that plants make their own food internally using carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight, they think that plants take in their food from the outside environment using sources such as water and soil. They are missing the main principle of a process they have been taught in detail.