Photosynthesis converts light energy from the sun into chemical energy stored in organic compounds, which are used to build the cells of producers and ultimately fuel ecosystems. After providing an overview of photosynthesis, these animations zoom inside the cells of a leaf and into a chloroplast to see where and how the reactions of photosynthesis happen. The animations detail both the light reactions and the Calvin cycle, focusing on the flow of energy and the cycling of matter.
This animation series contains seven parts, which can be watched individually or in sequence. The first three parts are appropriate for middle school through college-level students. The remaining parts are appropriate for high school through college-level students; Parts 5 and 6 are recommended for more advanced students. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animations at various points to discuss different steps or structures.
The accompanying “Student Worksheet” incorporates concepts and information from the animations. Individual animations in the series are available in a YouTube playlist.
ATP, Calvin cycle, chlorophyll, chloroplast, electron transport chain, G3P, light reactions, NADPH, photosystem, rubisco
LS1.A, LS1.C; HS-LS1-5, HS-LS2-5; SEP2; SEP6
2.A.2, 2.A.3, 2.B.3, 4.A.2; SP1, SP6
2.9, 4.2, 8.3
CC2, CC4; DP1, DP3