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Paleontological Research Institution


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Photosynthesis: Plants' Superpower

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  • This video describes the process photosynthesis, looks at the process within the leaves of plants, connects it to the carbon cycle, and demonstrates a simple experiment.
  • Students will see graphs of data showing the amount of carbon dioxide pulled out of the air during photosynthesis and fluctuations in concentrations over time.
Teaching Tips


  • The experiment is simple to follow and easily replicable, with the proper probe.
  • Students will learn about the impact of a nature-based solutions to the problem of excessive greenhouse emissions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The experiment uses the flux chamber which requires materials and assembly explained in this video.


  • For a more simple experiment, students can design and conduct the experiment mentioned in the video about observing oxygen bubbles released from underwater plants.
  • The teacher can pause the video at 4 minutes, 3 seconds for students to make predictions about carbon dioxide levels.
  • Students can write an analysis on why they think the rate of carbon dioxide absorption slows down after the first few minutes and relate it to lessons about chemical reactions.
  • Another similar resource is this experiment from the Paleontological Research Institution about respiration.
Scientist Notes
This resource demonstrates the process of photosynthesis in plants. It goes on to observe how much carbon dioxide a plant uses to photosynthesize. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • LS1: Structures and Processes
      • HS-LS1-5. Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.
    • LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • HS-LS2-5. Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
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