Monday, February 13, 2012

Digesting Sunshine

This Saturday morning at 10:00am, Born to Do Science presents... Dr. Rob Burnap, a microbiologist at Oklahoma State University, who will share with us his research on photosynthesis.

So you think you know photosynthesis? We all learn about it in grade school, right? It's easy to get the impression that photosynthesis is all figured out. If that's the case, why aren't we efficiently using the sun's energy to run our world, just like plants do? It turns out there's a lot more to know and Dr. Burnap is one of the many scientists around the world who research this important topic!

We are planning wall-to-wall demonstrations and activities on Saturday to help you understand why photosynthesis is so complex, amazing, and tough to untangle. Please join us at the Stillwater Public Library! The program is designed for kids in 3rd-7th grade and their adults to enjoy together. See you there!!

Photos from the lab:

Green algae are a convenient species to use to study photosynthesis. It is also hoped that we can eventually use algae to produce clean fuel for transportation on a commercial scale.

This equipment measures the Oxygen output from photosynthesis to an incredible degree of accuracy. Such data can be used to better understand how photosynthesis works.

Here is Dr. Burnap, looking a bit green. He often has to work under green lighting in the lab. Can you think why that would be? Be sure and ask on Saturday!


Here is a short video showing the strobe light. Each strobe triggers a photosynthetic reaction which can be measured by the oxygen detectors.

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