Featured in PASCO’s College Biology Instructor Guide

College Biology Instructor Guide


College Instructor edition with 26 experiments covering introductory and general biology topics.

Photosynthetic Activity

Lab Summary

Use a water quality sensor to measure the effects of light on the dissolved oxygen production by an aquatic plant in a PASCO Photosynthesis Tank.


Students explore factors that limit oxygen and carbohydrate production during photosynthesis.

  • Students quantify the reactions of photosynthesis.


Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Measuring photosynthetic activity using the dissolved oxygen sensor and photosynthesis tank.
  • Manipulating the amount of light in the system to determine the effects on the rate of dissolved oxygen production.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Water Quality Sensor


Measures temperature, conductivity, pH/ISE/ORP and dissolved oxygen. It is specifically designed for convenience in conducting water quality lab experiments. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

Photosynthesis Tank


Designed to improve and give more flexibility to measuring dissolved oxygen during photosynthesis.

Materials Used:

Beaker, 250-mL 
Dark cloth to cover tank 
Desk lamp 
Distilled water - 1 L
Elodea, or other aquatic plant - 2 to 3 sprigs
Florescent or incandescent light bulb 
Magnetic Stirrer with Magnetic Stir Bar

The Associated Bundle:

College Biology Bundle


A complete probeware bundle designed for PASCO's College Biology curriculum

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.