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Determining the Amount of Transpiration from a Schoolyard Tree


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    National Health Museum

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Determining the Amount of Transpiration from a Schoolyard Tree

In this activity, learners calculate the number of milliliters of water a nearby tree transpires per day. First, teams of learners go outdoors to collect five leaves from a mulberry or cottonwood tree. Next, learners calculate the area of each leaf and the total area of the five leaves together. Then, learners submerge the leaves in a beaker half full of spring water with a small layer of mineral oil on top. After 24 hours, learners estimate how many milliliters of water "transpired" (dropped) and divide this number by the total area of the five leaves to calculate the amount of water transpired in milliliters per square centimeter of leaf in 24 hours. Then, they make a few more calculations to obtain the number of milliliters transpired by the whole tree in one day. This lesson guide includes other calculations that learners can compute including the number of liters of water transpired per day and the yearly water loss.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
4 to 24 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Leaves, include petioles (mulberry or cottonwood work well)
  • Small beakers (50 - 75 ml)
  • Spring water
  • Mineral oil
  • Graph paper
  • Erasable marker
  • Window or grow light

Subjects


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Ecology
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Polygons
      • Rate
    • Number and Operations
    • Problem Solving
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories


  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Pomeroy, Laurence

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum, ©2009

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