Children often wonder why the Grass is green or why the leaves turn colours in the Fall. One of the great things about being a science teacher, is our ability to make authentic connections to the real world in much of what we teach. Sometimes the science is so infinitesimally small or exceedingly large, that the abstract concepts are challenging to make more concrete. Teaching photosynthetic concepts, especially after a whirlwind of metabolic pathways often fits this description. Using the colorimeter probe, it suddenly becomes much easier to bridge that gap of understanding. Ask your students to collect some leaves. Do a quick extraction and analyze the pigments and their absorption spectra. Instead of reading about it, students can do it. Then students can explore the wavelengths and ultimately which light sources are ideal for growth.
The colorimeter is far more than a “one trick pony”. What else can I do with it? Your chemistry colleagues could adapt this concept to explore the quantum model of the atom leading to a discussion about organic chemistry. Or your teachers of Grade 10 could explore the surface area to volume ratio of a cell analogue, as it increases in size. So many applications, so little time. But always enough time for a webinar 😊