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  • In this activity, students use UV beads to investigate the effectiveness of different sunscreen lotions.

    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    UV beads

    UV beads change colour when exposed to ultraviolet light. The beads return to their clear, colourless form when the exposure ends.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • explain the connection between UV rays from the Sun and sunburn
    • explain how our skin can be protected through the use of sunscreen
    • explain the Sun protection factor (SPF) and how it relates to different levels of protection.

    Download the Word file for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • extension ideas
    • student handout.

    Related content

    Too much UV exposure can have negative effects. There is a clear link between UV and skin cancer. Melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are three common types of cancer associated with UV exposure. Find out why New Zealand skin cancer rates are so high, risks from children’s exposure to UV and some of skin cancer's risk factors, including sunbeds.

    Related activities

    We also have two other activities that use UV beads, try UV bead items and Investigating sunscreens. There is also a unit plan covering this aspect of UV.

      Published 29 July 2008, Updated 1 March 2013 Referencing Hub articles
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