Plant Experiments
Creating Oxygen

These plant experiments on creating oxygen are fun and easy to do. The air that we breathe is 21% oxygen. After we breathe in oxygen we exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is needed by plants for them to live. In these experiments about plants you will see how a leaf creates oxygen that we breathe from sunlight.

Plant experiment, Creating Oxygen, Photo by Myrna Martin

Materials

  • Green leaf
  • Clear glass
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Small hand lens optional

Directions

  1. Cut a green leaf off of a plant and fill a glass with water.
  2. Place the leaf in the glass and put glass containing the leaf in a sunny location.
  3. Make a prediction what you will see in an hour. Write down your prediction on a piece of paper.
  4. After an hour carefully look at the leaf and side of the glass.
  5. You should be able to see lots of tiny bubbles that have formed on the edges of the plant and on the side of the glass. If you are having a hard time seeing the bubbles you might get a small hand lens to observe the edges of the leaf.

Try these plant experiments

  1. Leave the plant in the sunlight for several more hours. Do the bubbles increase or decrease.
  2. Take two glasses of water and place a fresh leaf in each one. Place one leaf in a dark area and the other in sunlight for two hours and then observe how much oxygen each leaf produced.

Science behind the experiment

The bubbles you observed on the leaf and sides of the glass were oxygen. Leaves take in carbon dioxide and through the process of photosynthesis they create food for the plant.

Oxygen is a by product of this and goes into the air. The we breathe contains 21% oxygen produced by plants. Without plants we not have enough oxygen to live.

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