Education Technology

JASON: Tropical Forests - Cleaning the air?

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Rainforests at the Crossroads: Measure the CO2 level in a bottle that contains spinach leaves when it is exposed to light. Then collect CO2 data and observe the effects of photosynthesis as you add leaves in the bottle.

Before the Activity

See the attached teacher document (pdf file) for notes and guidelines for this activity.

Print and copy the attached activity document and research article (pdf files) for your class. The research article is in the during the activity section below.

During the Activity

Students will:

  • Measure the change in the amount of CO2 in a bottle that contains spinach leaves when it is exposed to light
  • Collect CO2 data and observe the effects of photosynthesis as they add leaves to the bottle
  • Simulate the sun with a lamp
  • Observe that the greater the number of leaves in the bottle the more quickly the level of CO2 drops


  • Directions
  • Distribute the activity document and research article to your class
  • Read and discuss the research article
  • Follow the activity procedures outlined in the student document
  • After the Activity

  • Students complete the data analysis section of the activity
  • Discuss the results of the data analysis with your students