Here Comes The Sun

By Emmory Wendland
Elementary Category (Grades 4-6)
Experiment | Environment

The sun has existed since time began but people haven’t always been aware of some of the ways that the sun’s UV rays can be hazardous to your overall health. UV radiation is a type of electromagnetic energy. The sun has the highest source of UV radiation but there are artificial sources such as tanning beds and welding torches. Through research I found the time frame that the sun can be most harmful is between 10am and 4pm.

How do the sun’s UV rays affect our light sensitive medications and vitamins in different types of bottles and which are best to protect them? How do the sun’s UV rays affect our skin and which method of sunscreen can best protect us, spray on or rub on? How do the sun’s UV rays affect our eyes while wearing different types of sunglasses or glasses and which types have the most protection?

In this project I tested for results to these questions with the applicable materials. All my experiments were done using solar beads that are very sensitive to UV rays and turn colour according to the amount of rays that reach them. When you take them into a dark space they also glow accordingly.

After research I did my experiments. My findings were that the glass amber bottles and the white plastic bottles are the best at protecting medicines and vitamins. For sunscreen the rub on type is most protective. For eye protection the polarized sunglasses and the glasses with no anti glare coating showed to protect eyes the best.

The hardest part of this experiment was finding the percentage of UV rays that the amber coloured pill bottle blocked. Even after asking the pharmacist and him looking into it, there is no answer to that question. Overall, I really enjoyed doing this experiment with the UV beads and learned a lot.

If I was to do this experiment again I would compare different types of artificial UV light sources such as ( disinfecting light, LED flashlight, welding light) to see what different types of UV would light the beads in the different testings. It would be interesting to do this experiment over a longer period of time so that I could do tests in differing UV indexes to see if this would affect the results.

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