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Elementary Science Education

From where do plants get their mass? 

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    • #3764

      Bernard Nebel

      Describe and discuss Van Helmont’s Experiment:

      Microscopic examination of a leaf’s surface reveals stomata, pores that allow the entry and the exit of gases. Type into your browser: leaf stomata images

      Also examine the internal structure of a leaf. Note considerable amount of air space between upper and lower surfaces. Type into you browser: leaf cross section illustration

      Discuss: How does the structure of a leaf facilitate taking in carbon dioxide and exiting oxygen?

      Observations and experiments in from Van Helmont’s time on prove that plants obtain the bulk of their mass from carbon dioxide and water. We now know this as photosynthesis. Light energy promotes the reaction

      6CO2 + 6H2O —> C6H12O6 + 6O2

    • #8226


      The Veritasium video “Where Do Trees Get Their Mass?” tied in really well with this lesson. It mentions Van Helmont.

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