Light and Temperature


Environmental conditions: Earth materials, vegetation, animal life, light, and temperature.



Focus Questions

Why is light important for life?
What organisms need light/
What organisms don’t need light?
Is there a relationship between light and temperature/
Is there a relationship between light and plant growth?
Is more light always good?
How can collecting data help?
Why is it important to collect data?
Why is it important to collect quantitative data?

Materials: Vernier LabPro, light probe, thermometer probe, computer, camera, white paper, black paper, graph paper, Logger Pro 3 graphical analysis software, DataPro

Background Information

See Vernier LabPro, Logger Pro 3 CBL software, Logger Pro 3 graphical analysis software, DataPro, and computer interface actual materials or on line at

Activity 1

Use the probes to measure the amount of light reflected from the white paper at different heights (may also measure the temperature) (2 cm, 4 cm, 6 cm, 8 cm, and 10 cm – more if desired.) repeat the process with black paper. Take pictures as desired to record the procedures of data collection.

Activity 2

Select a variety of surfaces in nature (cement, rocks, blacktop, wooded area, playground, sandy area, grassy mowed area, natural prairie area, other…).

Take pictures of the areas and collect probe reading from each of the areas at different heights.

What were the results?

Order the results from the most light to least light, highest temperature to lowest,

What kinds and number of organisms were in each of the areas?

Is there relationship between the number and kinds of organisms and the amount of light and/ or temperature?

What other patterns did you notice?

Is more light or less light better? Why? Is there an optimum range of light? What would you think it would be?


Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©