Respiration Lab | The Use of Glucose in Cellular Respiration

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
13 Pages (8 for student, 5 for teacher)
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In this biology lab activity, The Use of Glucose in Cellular Respiration, students will explore how yeasts use organic molecules as a source of energy and give off carbon dioxide as a waste product. Students will prepare a serial dilution of various glucose concentrations to determine the rate of respiration at each concentration. Students will also determine which type of sugar (glucose, sucrose, maltose) is best metabolized by yeast cells. This lab is suitable for biology or life science students in grades 9 - 12.

What is included in this resource?

  • Printable and editable student lab handouts Version 1: This is a paper-saving version. Students will write lab reports on their own notebook paper.
  • Printable and editable student lab handouts Version 2: These handouts include data tables, graphing grids, and space to write on the handouts.
  • Complete Teacher Guide: The teacher guide includes instructions for preparing the solutions and a complete and detailed answer key.
  • Photos showing how to set up the lab.

Cellular respiration may be one of the hardest topics that a biology teacher faces in their curriculum. For many students, the concepts are vague and abstract, making them difficult to understand. In order to teach a successful unit on cellular respiration, many "hands-on" activities are essential.

The Purpose of this Lab:

In this lab, the student will try to determine these things:

  • Is glucose required for cell respiration?
  • Is there a correlation or relationship between the amount of sugar available and the amount of carbon dioxide produced?
  • Can any type of sugar be used as a fuel for cellular respiration?

To answer these questions, students will carry out a two-part lab. In the first part, students explore how the concentration of the glucose affects the rate of respiration. Second, students will conduct an experiment to determine if the type of sugar is important in the respiration process.

Also included is a 4-page teacher preparation handout. This includes directions for mixing solutions, tips for setting up the lab, sample data, and most importantly, answers to all questions. A photo gallery has also been included to show you how to set up the lab, and to give you an idea of the results you should expect.

The lab materials needed for this experiment are simple and are commonly found in most science labs:

  • Yeast suspension
  • 12 (50-mL) beakers
  • 1 (100-mL) beaker
  • 12 (10 x 75 mm) test tubes
  • Karo corn syrup (glucose)
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose
  • 10 mL graduated cylinder

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Total Pages
13 Pages (8 for student, 5 for teacher)
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed, resulting in a net transfer of energy. Emphasis is on the conceptual understanding of the inputs and outputs of the process of cellular respiration. Assessment should not include identification of the steps or specific processes involved in cellular respiration.


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