Osmosis is best defined as the movement of water molecules across a membrane from an area of high water concentration to an area of lower concentration. This lab shows osmosis in action. All you need are a few potatoes, 3 plates, some water, and a couple spoons of brown sugar.
- Cut 2 potatoes in half, you will need 3 potato halves for this experiment.
- Remove the skin on one side so the potato has a good flat surface to place in the water.
- Cut a ~1 inch square out of the rounded side of each potato.
- Place 1 prepared potato in boiling water for 10 minutes; cool for 5.
- Place all 3 potatoes flat side down on a plate with a shallow water reservoir and label them.
- Potato 1 is the control. Potatoes 2 & 3 carefully add brown sugar to the square cut, lightly packing it.
- Leave overnight and observe the changes.
We saw results within 6 hrs. The control potato did nothing whereas potato #2 (the raw sugar packed potato) water had traveled through the potato to the sugar. Potato #3 (the boiled potato with sugar) water had also traveled through the potato to the sugar but at a much slower rate do to the damage done to the cells by heating it.
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