In this science experiment we will explore ultraviolet radiation from the sun. In the process we
an make some cool UV bead bracelets and conduct experiments to see which sun screen
works the best to protect us from the suns invisible radiation that causes sunburns!

Materials For Color Changing UV Bead Experiment:

  • Packet of UV Beads
  • String
  • Several different types of sunscreen

Color Changing UV Bead Experiment Video

Process for Color Changing UV Bead Experiment:

1) Purchase a pack of color changing UV Beads (link to product above).

2) Y
ou can use string to make a bracelet if you want.

The beads remain white in color when indoors.

Take them outside and keep your eyes glued to the beads. In a flash they have changed from
clear beads to vibrantly colored beads.

Conduct experiments using the beads to see which sunscreen provides the best protection
against harmful ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburns.

6) To conduct this experiment obtain several different types of sunscreen from different
manufacturers with either the same or different levels of protection.

7) While indoors. Take several of the beads and coat them with each of the different sun
screens. Use a paper and pencil to label which beads where coated with which sun screens.
Arrange them on a tray. Take the tray outside into the sunlight. The beads that change color the
most provide the least amount of protection.

8) You can also test to the protective power of sunglasses to see which best shields your eyes
from the suns ultraviolet radiation. Gather different sets of glasses from around the house. Take
them outside and set up on a table in the sun. Set a few beads behinds the lenses of each set
of glasses. See which beads block the best by examining the color intensity. The beads with the
most color are getting the least protection.

The Science Behind The Color Changing UV Bead Experiment

It's important for children to learn about the power of the sun and the harmful effect it can have
on both the skin and eyes via ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation can be intense and cause
severe sunburn, blisters and loss of vision in extreme cases. Children should learn it's
important to protect themselves with sunscreen and good sunglasses when playing or
exposing themselves to ultraviolet radiation for long periods of time. The color changing UV
beads contain a special pigment that is activated by the suns solar ultraviolet rays. This pigment
reacts with the sunlight and makes the beads change color when exposed.  Inside the house
the beads remain clear because normal household lighting does not contain the ultraviolet
bands. The beads take a few minutes to return to clear when coming from outside to inside.  
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