Unit C

Module 5 ~Lesson 5

Aerobic Respiration

In Unit A, you explored how the energy people get from food starts with solar energy. Solar energy is stored as glucose through the process of photosynthesis. Plants use the compounds they produce for their own energy needs, such as growth, repair, and the completion of chemical reactions involved in other cellular processes.

Plants do provide the energy and oxygen humans and other organisms need by storing complex carbohydrates and producing oxygen. The following chart shows some of the uses of energy.

Use of Energy


Voluntary Actions


Organisms need energy to make their muscles contract. This allows them to walk, fight, make noise, and run.

Involuntary Actions


Organisms need energy to contract muscles in and around their lungs to breathe.


Organisms need energy to activate nerve cells in their brains.


Organisms use energy to make enzymes and to activate chemical reactions that build new cells. These new cells will result in growth.


Organisms use energy to repair or replace cells that are damaged.

Active Transport

Organisms need energy to transport materials throughout their cells and bodies.

In this lesson, the following essential questions will be explored:

  • How does aerobic cellular respiration release potential energy from organic compounds?