UV Protection Lab Idea

Every time we go outside, we subject our bodies to the sun’s harsh UV rays. Even if it is overcast, you can still cause painful damage to your eyes and skin.

We can take steps to lower our risk of UV damage by wearing sunglasses and sunscreen. But how effective are those products? Is there a way to test?

Students can use Pasco or Vernier Light modules since they both detect UVA/UVB. Ideally, you would have students use pairs of light meters for this lab to control for variations in UV levels.


Students can use their smart device and a light sensor to take UVA and UVB reading with the item being tested between the sensor and the sun, and without the item tested. 

To test sunscreen, have students spread a thin layer of sunscreen on a piece of plastic wrap. Make them think, how will they control for sunscreen thickness?