The process of photosynthesis provides a vital connection between the sun and the energy needs of living systems. During photosynthesis, cells trap energy from sunlight with chlorophyll, found in chloroplasts, and use the energy, carbon dioxide, and water to produce energy-rich organic molecules (glucose) and oxygen. Photosynthesis involves an energy conversion in which light energy is converted to chemical energy in specialized cells. These cells are found in autotrophs such as plants and some protists.
The student will investigate and understand the chemical and biochemical principles essential for life. Key concepts include a) water chemistry and its impact on life processes; b) the structure and function of macromolecules; c) the nature of enzymes; and d) the capture, storage, transformation, and flow of energy through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.