Lesson Worksheets

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Worksheet 1 of 7: Introduction to Photosynthesis and Respiration

  1. Is a Venus Flytrap an autotroph or a heterotroph? Can it be both? Why or why not?

  1. Defend or refute the statement “fire is a living thing,” using what you have learned about life requirements.  

  1. What is the energy source for respiration? How do the mitochondria use this energy?

  1. Draw a model showing the path carbon dioxide takes throughout photosynthesis. Include the enzymes and any other molecules involved in the process.

  1. After watching the videos, create a Venn diagram below comparing and contrasting the form and function of mitochondria and chloroplasts.

Worksheet 2 of 7 : Introduction to Algae and Microalgae 

  1. Can you think of any photoautotrophs that appear to be terrestrial (in structure and function) but spend their lives at least partially submerged? Hint: they are common in Florida and serve as nurseries for sharks, alligators, and many fish

  1. Name three general distinctions between microalgae and macroalgae?

  1. What are cyanobacteria? How have they adapted to photosynthesize with their specific cellular machinery? Why is this adaptation necessary?

  1. Break “polyphyletic” into its component words, and then explain what the whole word means using the sum of its parts

  1. Microalgae are polyphyletic. What does this word mean (hint: try to break it into its component parts and define them individually)? How is this word connected to the ability algae have to photosynthesize?

  1. Explain in your own words the problem faced by prokaryotic photoautotrophs in regards to concentration gradients, and how they have adapted.

  1. Research and report in 1-2 sentences an example of each of the following: Thermophiles, barophiles, cryophiles, and acidophiles

  1. If you had a solution of two algae species, one blue-green cyanobacterium, and one eukaryotic red alga, and you wanted to count the number of cells under a microscope. These two species have the same spherical morphology. How would you differentiate between the two species using the methods learned above?

Worksheet 3 of 7 : Algae beads as a model organism

  1. How does a scientific model help scientists?

  1. Would humans make a good model organism? Why or why not?

  1. Based on the video, what observations does Professor Brainard make about Flubber? Are these QUANTITATIVE or QUALITATIVE observations? Defend your position. What other types of observations could he have made about his creation?

  1. After learning about algae beads, what do you think would make them a good model system? List three reasons for or against.

  1. How can algae beads be used to model photosynthesis and respiration?

Worksheet 4 of 7 : What is light and how do plants use it?

  1. What is Photosynthetically Active Radiation? Where does it fall on the electromagnetic spectrum?

  1. Fill in the following sentence:

If all photosynthetic organisms require electromagnetic (EM) radiation in the solar spectrum of visible light, then the light available falls between wavelengths of ______ and ______.  This is called PAR, or ________________________________________

  1. Based on what you have learned about the electromagnetic spectrum and photon energy, why might photosynthetic organisms use the visible light spectrum instead of a gamma ray or infrared light.

  1. What is the Inverse Square Rule?  How does it relate to the growth of algae?

  1. Would a photosystem lacking accessory photopigments still perform photosynthesis? Why or why not?

  1. Why are different species of algae composed of different photopigments? How does this adaptation help them compete?

  1. Are the accessory photopigments or primary photopigments most often modified by algae?

  1. Why do microalgae modify their photopigment composition? Give two reasons

  1. How might a photosystem be different in an algal bloom found on the surface of alade from an algae found at the bottom of a lake?

Worksheet 5 of 7: Gas Solubility in Water

  1. Explain how water-breathing and air-breathing organisms differ in gas exchange. Think of an advantage and disadvantage of each. 

  1. Describe two parameters that affect the solubility of a gas in water.

  1. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is highest in the poles. Why might the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels be higher in the poles compared to the rest of the world?

  1. Compare the amount of gas that would enter a cup of water if you exhale into the cup at the top of Mt. Everest and exhale into a different cup at sea level.

  1. Which of the tools described would be appropriate for algae farmers to measure the amount of oxygen in the water? Why would these be good choices?

  1. How would the amount of dissolved gasses in a liquid affect the growth of algae? Would these results differ with different gases? Why or why not?

  1. Which of the measurement tools described would be appropriate for algae farmers to measure the amount of oxygen in water? Why would these be good choices? Are there tools that would not work well for the algae farmer?  Why not?

  1. Hypothesize about conditions that would be beneficial for algae growth and explain your rationale. Think about temperature, pressure, and the concentration of different dissolved gases.

Worksheet 6 of 7: Introduction to pH and CO2 in water

  1. What is a proton? Explain how protons relate to pH and acidity.

  1. What is the relationship between the pH value and the concentration of H+ ions and hydroxide (OH-) ions? Write the equation used to calculate the pH of a solution.

  1. Say the concentration of H+ ions (protons) in a solution is 10-7. Calculate the pH of this solution. Side note: this is roughly the pH of your blood!

  1. Draw a representation of what a strong acidic solution would look like under a microscope of hypothetically incredible power, and a representation of what a weak acidic solution would look like. LABEL your diagram and upload it here.

  1. Using the below diagram, draw a stoichiometrically correct equation for the dissociation of CO2 into the various carbonate species that occur in seawater.

  1. Research Le Chatelier’s Principle and make the following predictions. Thinking specifically about photosynthetic reactions, what variables cause a shift in equilibrium towards the reactants? What variable cause a shift in equilibrium towards reactants

  1. An algal community is placed in an aquatic solution, what would happen to the concentration of CO2 within that solution over time? How would the pH of that solution then change?

  1. We now know that microalgal photosynthesis will increase the solution's pH by decreasing free hydrogen ions concentration. What do you think will happen when microalgae respire?

  1. What would an increase in dissolved carbon dioxide concentration do to a carbonate system equilibrium, and what would that do to the pH? In which direction would the chemical equation be “pushed?”

  1. Before you read further in this document, think about how the methods described below could be used to measure the pH change of a solution derived from microalgal photosynthesis or respiration.

  1. Watch the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBJCtbzrOr4 
    What happened in this video? Why was the color of the solution changing when the person exhaled into it through a straw? What chemical caused the indicator to change color?

Worksheet 7 of 7: pH indicators and photosynthesis  

  1. Watch this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBJCtbzrOr4

  1. The teacher blew through a straw into a universal indicator solution in the video until it changed color. Did the indicator indicate the solution became acidic or basic?

  1. What chemical caused the indicator to change color?

  1. How does the pH of a solution relate to the amount of CO2 in the solution?

  1. How could you use bromothymol blue to test the pH in a solution where algae beads are located?

  1. How does knowing the pH of the algal bead solution help you to understand respiration and photosynthesis rates?

  1. Study this picture and explain the differences in the color of the different solutions with the algal beads. Be sure to use the vocabulary terms photosynthesis, respiration, and pH in your explanation.