This lab was aimed to visualize the concept of osmosis, a process in which a cell loses or gains water depending on the concentration of solute relative to the cell. In this experiment, the solute is the salt, while water is the solvent. Students were divided into a pair- given a vegetable to each team, and we had to measure the movement of the water.
Introduction to Osmosis and Dehydration Lab:
Osmosis is a form of diffusion, the process in which cells uptake or lose water; water molecules move across cells’ membrane to a location with a higher concentration of solute, which in this experiment is the salt. Brassica rapa subsp. Chinensis (commonly known as Bok choy), just like all other living organisms have cells and tissues that are composed of mostly water. Therefore, organisms’ cells will lose water to the saltier (hypertonic) outside environment, causes it to dehydrate and shrink, which is also called plasmolysis. In addition, organisms’ cells will gain water from the freshwater (hypotonic) solution, allows it to gain mass. Due to another form of diffusion, organisms will also gain salt, due to the higher salinity of the solution, the salt molecules would be moving into the plant cells, which contains less salt content. Thereby, the organisms that are put in the experimental groups’ solution, will become salty.