The concept of cellular respiration can be a little intimidating to introductory biology students, until they realize that it is really just about the biological processes that can take things that we find in food and convert them into energy.

Beginning biology students will have an intuitive understanding of “energy.” They get the idea when they skip lunch and run out of energy for their afternoon biology lab. Or they know how they feel on a diet.

What beginning biology students may not as intuitively understand is that temperature has a major influence on how efficiently cells can convert raw materials from food into the energy they need. But all they need to do is to consider how some of the poikilothermic animals they know behave in cold weather and in hot weather.

Importance of Cell Respiration Experiment for Biology Students

Every pet turtle is a poikilotherm. It may enjoy sunning on a rock, if it gets a chance. It won’t come out on a cold day.

One or more of your students may have pet snakes. All snakes need their warm basking area to digest food. In fact, snakes may starve if they get cold, because their digestive enzymes don’t operate at low temperatures.

Discussing the temperature needs of cold-blooded animals can lead to a discussion of the effects of temperature on plants. Your students almost certainly will have noticed that some plants grow in the summer and are dormant in the winter. That is because their enzymes simply don’t work at extreme temperatures. Plants, like cold-blooded animals, are dependent on external heat sources to keep them warm enough to have an active metabolism.

But how can students really be sure of the relationship between temperature and cell respiration?

By demonstrating the relationship between temperature and cell respiration in the lab, of course!

Modern Biology’s Experiment B4-1: Effects of Temperature on Cell Respiration gives your students an opportunity to articulate their own hypothesis about the relationship between temperature and cell respiration and then test their hypothesis in the lab.

One way of looking at cell respiration is treating it as a series of enzyme-catalyzed chemical reactions in the cell, which break down carbohydrates, fats, and sometimes amino acids to release energy. Even in plants, this process consumes oxygen. Students may be surprised to learn that even plants consume oxygen to create energy. In plants, this process also gives off hydrogen.

In this experiment, students measure O2 consumption and H2 liberation from germinating barley seeds at different temperatures. Each kit for this experiment includes eight calibrated respirometers to measure O2 consumption, as well as the reagents required for a visual reduction dye assay. Students will gain confidence in their ability to generate meaningful questions about biological processes and reinforce what they learn in lectures about seed germination.

Why choose Modern Biology Experiments

Every experiment from Modern Biology is designed to stimulate scientific thinking. There are no mere demonstrations. Every time your students go into the lab to do an experiment packaged by Modern Biology, they are investigators, exercising scientific thinking.

Every experiment from Modern Biology comes with all the reagents and test materials needed for that lab. All chemicals from Modern Biology are non-toxic, known to be safe, and meet all state health regulations. And each experiment is priced to be less expensive than buying all the reagents and controls separately.

Find out why over 80,000 teachers teaching over 500,000 biology students in high schools and colleges across the United States trust Modern Biology for their lab prep. Call us at (765) 446-4220 weekdays from 9 to 5 or use our online contact form for more information. The offices of Modern Biology, Inc. are located at 2211 South Street, Lafayette, IN 47904.