Ever wonder why we have to wear all that sticky sunscreen? In this investigation we ‘ll explore the way sunblock works to protect us. Set up a simple experiment to find out how sunscreen counteracts the effects of the sun.
1. Fold the colored construction paper in half. You’ll leave one side alone and put sunblock on the other side.
2. Children can use their fingers to spread sunscreen on one side of the paper. If they’d like to make designs, that’d be fun too.
3. Unfold the paper and leave in a sunny spot outside for a few hours, sunscreen side up. (Don’t forget to wash the sunscreen off your hands.)
After a few hours, observe the paper. What happened to the section without sunscreen? Is it still dark-colored? How is the side with sunscreen different from the side without sunscreen?
You can see the side on the right is lighter. The UV rays discolored and lightened the paper, where as the left side remained darker where the sunscreen protected it. This would be a fun activity to do at the first of the summer to teach your kids the importance of sunscreen.
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