Exploring Energy Transformation in Plants

Middle School
High School

The ability to explain the processes by which plants capture, store and use energy for growth and development is fundamental to understanding bioenergy. In this set of lessons, students investigate how plants harness and use different sources of energy during germination and growth. Students ask questions and make predictions about the sources of energy that plants use. They then plan and carry out investigations using Wisconsin Fast Plants® to collect evidence to test predictions and construct scientific arguments.

Environmental Science
Plants & Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis, respiration, growth and development, forms of energy, modeling, analyzing data, scientific argumentation
Prior Knowledge
Introduction to the forms of energy used by plants for growth and development
Time Required
7-12 class periods (can be adapted to shorter times)
Required Supplies
Standard Wisconsin Fast Plant seeds, Planting medium, Solid fertilizer pellets (Osmocote), Empty, clean 16-20 oz plastic soda-type bottles (2 per student group), Wicking material (cotton or polyester macrame cord or thick string), Bottle caps or aluminum foil and rubberband to cover bottle opening, Water, Lightbox System or fluorescent light bank (instructions included), Dark growing area