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Osmosis and Potatoes

By: Yaswanth Singamaneni

Summative Assessment 1 (Criteria B&C)


Scientific Method
Part 1: Introduction
Criteria B Level 1-2:
Aim: To find out how different concentrations affect the mass and texture (hardness
and softness) of a potato.

Hypothesis: I think the more concentrated the solution the more hypertonic it is so
the potato will shrink in size, and when the solution is less concentrated the potato
will increase in size.

Theoretical Background: Osmosis and diffusion are types of passive transport which
means the molecules move from high concentrated areas to low concentrated areas. In
osmosis the water molecules move from the diluted solution to a more concentrated
solution, which is why in a concentrated solution the water goes out of the cell which
is less concentrated (diluted) to the more concentrated which means the cel will
shrink and the opposite happens in a diluted solution, the water is absorbed by the
cell causing it to swell.

Criteria B Level 3-4:

Independent Variable: Concentration of the solution

Dependent Variable: Size and Mass of the potato (after osmosis)

Controlled Variable: Amount of water (beginning) and Time of the reaction


Criteria B Level 5-6:

Potato (cubes)
measuring spoon
3 beakers or glasses
Weighing scale (grams/ounces)

Criteria B Level 7-8:

Procedure and Monitoring Of Variables:

1. Took a potato and cut into 4 cubes (roughly equal)

2. Filled 4 glasses of water by measuring the water volume with a measuring cup
before I poured it in (Controlled variable)
3. Put no salt in the first glass 1/2 teaspoon in the second one and 1 teaspoon in the
third one and 2 spoons in the last one. Put labels to mark the mass and the amount
of salt. The salt (independent variable) was varied by adding more salt in one
solution than the other.
4. The time for the osmotic reaction (dependent variable) was constant (2 days), I
measured the mass and texture the first and second day at a constant time.
5. I took down the data by going to the nearest vegetable market and weighed the
mass because the scales are more accurate, and recorded them for 2 days. (Data


Part 2: Data Collection

Criteria C Level 1-2:

Potato Amount Of Salt Initial Mass Mass after 2 days Mass Change
( TSP) (Grams)

Potato 1 ———— 4.16 4.43 +0.17

Potato 2 0.5 6.25 6.40 +0.15

Potato 3 1 2.43 2.13 -0.3

Potato 4 2 4.27 3.4 -0.87

As the amount of salt increases the mass decreases, but as the amount of salt decreases the mass
increase which means it is a inverse relationship. Also as the amount of salt decreases the
rigidness of the potato increases because the water is trying to reach equilibrium state, so it is
taking in water which makes the potato more rigid and hard.

Criteria C Level 3-4:

X axis - Mass Change (Second Day Mass - Initial Mass) Grams
Y axis - Amount of Salt (grams)


Part 3:Conclusion and Evaluation

Criteria C Level 5-6:

To conclude, my hypothesis is correct because I interpreted that the more concentrated the
solution the initial mass will decrease and the less concentrated the higher the mass change.A
hypertonic solution is when the concentration of solutes outside the cell then the inside and a
hypotonic solution is when the concentration of solutes is higher inside the cell then outside,
which is why in a hypertonic it shrinks and in hypotonic it absorbs water, this process is called
osmosis and the cell’s goal is to reach the equilibrium state. The results in graph show that the
greater the salt concentration the greater the mass decrease of the potato and vice-versa.

Criteria C Level 7-8:

Even though, I got the desired results there are some weakness in the method I used which are
the shape of the potatoes and the checking of the weight of the potato cubes. The shape of the
potatoes was different for most of the potatoes to fix this I could have used a vegetable dicer
which would have made my method a lot more efficient and the results more reliable. Also, the
time for the osmotic reaction which I gave was not sufficient because if i gave potatoes a week the
reaction would have gave better results. Even the weight is not perfect because I used a vegetable
weighing scale, if I have used a more precise weighing scale it would have made the results and
the method more desirable. So here were the weaknesses/mistakes in my method.


Day 1:

Day 2: