MYP 10

Unit 10.7.3: Oxygen in air


  • To measure the volume of oxygen in a sample of air
  • Understand that oxygen is part of a global cycle


Discussion of the oxygen cycle.

Demonstrate how to stand a birthday candle in a deep petri dish and the basic setup

Student activity

This could be a virtual experiment or a demonstration

The candle in a measuring cylinder experiment.


Formative only

Teaching notes

The experiment requireds that the students appreciate that the upper section of the measuring cylinder (glass) has no graduation. The students need to design this aspect of the experiment.

This can be used to discuss experimental reliability types and sources of inaccuracy.

  • Random error
  • Instrumental error
  • Systematic error

The values normally vary between 15 and 25%

Experimental requirements

Per group:

  • 100ml glass measuring cylinder
  • Deep petri dish
  • Source of flame (spirit burner per class) with splints
  • Birthday candle


The percentage of oxygen in air

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