Photosynthetic Floatation – Science Snack from the Exploratorium

Photosynthetic organisms capture energy from the sun and matter from the air to make the food we eat, while also producing the oxygen we breathe. In this Snack, oxygen produced during photosynthesis makes leaf bits float like bubbles in water. Learn more about this Science Snack from the Exploratorium including Video Demonstration of what to do.

Tools and Materials

  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Gram scale
  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Spoon or other implement (for mixing solution)
  • Soda straw or hole punch
  • Spinach leaves or ivy leaves
  • 10-mL syringe (without a needle)
  • Clear plastic cup (1-cup size) or 250-mL beaker
  • Incandescent or 100-watt equivalent lightbulb in fixture (preferably with a clamp)
  • Timer
  • Notepaper and pencil (or similar) to record results
  • Optional: ring stand, foil, thermometer, ice, hot water, colored gel filters

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