Sunscreen Science Fair Project

Sunscreen Science Fair Project

Sunscreen science fair project asks the question, “Does a higher sunscreen SPF be more effective at protecting against UV rays”?

Grade 5
Colorado, USA

A higher sunscreen SPF will be more effective at protecting against UV rays.

Color Changing UV Beads
Sunscreen: SPF 4, SPF 15, SPF 30, SPF 50
Labeled tray
Rating cards

I got a tray and divided it into 5 columns. I labeled the columns. Then I divided the Color Changing UV Beads into 5 groups and applied a different level of sunscreen SPF to each group. The control beads were left free of sunscreen.

I put the tray with the sunscreened beads outside in the sun until they changed color. Then, I rated the color change from 1-5 with “5” being the most change and “1” being no change. The control group was an automatic 5. In other words a “1” rating would be for all UV rays blocked and a 5 rating would be for the least UV rays blocked.

The beads with no sunscreen changed the most and the fastest and received a 5 rating. The beads with the SPF 4 and SPF 15 sunscreen had the same color change and got a rating of 4. They changed color slower and less than the control. The beads with the SPF 30 sunscreen got a rating of “ 3. The beads with the SPF 50 sunscreen received a 2 rating. They changed the least, but still had some color change.

Sunscreen with SPF 4 and SPF 15 are not effective at protecting against UV rays. They are just slightly better than not having any sunscreen. Sunscreen with SPF 30 does better at protecting against UV rays, but sunscreen with an SPF 50 does the best job of blocking UV rays.

Too much unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. It is important to learn and practice sun safe habits while you are young and stay sun safe all your life. My project shows that you should wear a sunscreen with SPF 50 for the best protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

If I did another sunscreen science fair project, I would use different SPF levels of the same brand of sunscreen. I would also use a UV meter so the level of exposure could be measured.

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