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Diffusion and Osmosis Lab: Molecular Movement Through a Membrane

How do substances move in and out of cells? Can any substance enter a cell or are some prevented from doing so? What happens when a cell loses or gains a significant amount of water? This lab uses deshelled eggs to investigate how water can enter and exit across their membranes. The idea of a control is introduced. 

Concepts Addressed
• Osmosis is the movement of water through semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution to a higher one.
• Not every substance can cross a partially permeable membrane.
• When there is net flow of water into or out of a cell, its turgor pressure changes.
• Water and other substances, get into and out of cells through osmosis and diffusion.

Materials Needed
eggs, vinegar, sugar or corn syrup, scale, 

Time Required
This lab takes about 30 mins, but requires some advanced prep and a day or more of observation.

Student Sheets
• Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 

Diffusion and Osmosis Lab: Molecular Movement Through a Membrane


    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

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