Education Technology

STEM: One Giant Leaf for Mankind
by Texas Instruments

Published on September 09, 2016

Objectives

Students will research science topics including:

  • Energy and material flow in photosynthesis
  • Cellular organelles in plants
  • The effects of light brightness and plant surface area have on plant energy production.

Vocabulary

  • Chloroplast and Mitochondria
  • Photosynthesis
  • Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen, Water, Sugar and Energy
  • Light intensity (lux)
  • Light sensor

About the Lesson

Your students are asked to play the role of a horticultural engineer on the International Space Station (ISS) who has been researching food production for extended space exploration missions. Students will design and build a space-based greenhouse model in order to conduct a simple experiment using the scientific method while learning about photosynthesis and plant cell structure.

As a result, students will: 

  • Use the model to investigate how the plant surface area and light brightness affect how fast energy (stored in yams) is produced.
  • Will use mathematical processes of:
    • Area of a rectangle
    • Slope of a line
    • Interpreting graphs
    • Proportional reasoning