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Stay safe in the sun

How do we stay safe in the sun and why is it important?

Every year during Sun Awareness Week we think about the sun, how we stay safe in the sun, how we can protect ourselves from it’s powerful heat and why it’s important to do that. The sun gives off two different types of energy:

  • Invisible infrared radiation which makes us feel warm. It can also cause damage to our skin, just because you can’t feel the UV rays doesn’t mean we can forget about them!
  • Visible light which we can see.

You already know the ways to stay safe in the sun, spending time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, covering up with a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses, wearing suncream so we don’t burn…This week we are going to investigate everything from the importance of suncream to how the colour we wear affects how hot we feel!

Are you ready to explore?

Sun or shade?

Stay safe in the sun...how hot is it in the shade?

  • 2 trays
  • 2 of each different object e.g. metal spoon, plastic spoon, toy car, lego block, block of chocolate, block of cheese, ice cube
  1. Place a variety of objects onto your tray/ plate (you want to have 2 identical trays)
  2. Pop one into the shade and one into the sun, what do you think will happen?
  3. Check on your trays after a couple of hours to see what happened.
  4. *Make sure the objects are not too hot before touching. Ask an adult to help.

What colour should I wear to keep cool?

  • 2 cups
  • water
  • white paper
  • black paper
  1. Fill two cups with equal amounts of water of the same temperature
  2. Wrap one jar with black paper and one jar with white paper.
  3. Pop the black one on a piece of black paper and the white one on a piece of white paper and put them in the sun for a few hours
  4. If you have one, use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water in each container, if it’s not too hot you can feel the temperature of each one too. Which is warmer?
stay safe in the sun...what colour should i wear?

How important is suncream?

stay safe in the sun...why is suncream important?
  • sugar paper
  • suncream
  1. Grab some suncream.
  2. Smear it onto one half of the paper making sure to label each half
  3. Leave it outside in the sunshine for a few hours
  4. What did you find out?

Are you ready to explore more?

If you want to understand the science behind these investigations you’ll need to join the club, where I share all the background information you need, the activities and the science behind it through written activity guides and demonstration videos!

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