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Safe in the Sun

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    American Chemical Society

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Safe in the Sun

In this activity on page 13 of the PDF, use a special plastic card that has been painted with a chemical that changes color when it is in UV light. Examine how the more UV rays there are, the darker the painted portion on the card with turn. Use this activity to explore UV rays (too small to see), nanoscale science, and sun protection.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

English, Portuguese, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • PULS card (or other UV indicator card), or UV detector beads
  • Letter-size envelope
  • Zip-closing bag (snack size)
  • Watch with second hand
  • Clear spray-on sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater)
  • Paper towel


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
    • Technology
      • Medical Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • Light and Optics
      • Electromagnetic Spectrum
      • Sunlight and Color
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Jaworek-Lopes, Christine H.; Sittenfeld, David


  • All Rights Reserved, American Chemical Society, ©2012