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Don’t Feel the Burn!

Believe it or not, summer brings with it a wide variety of learning opportunities, many of them related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. In fact, students will discover fascinating connections between the world of physics and the most popular of all summertime fun — playing outside under the sun!

We have an excellent Sunscreen lesson plan that can be used by parents and teachers alike. It doesn’t require anything fancy or expensive — just a few sheets of black construction paper, a package of baby wipes, and several bottles of sunscreen with various SPF levels. Students will find that a good sense of humor, an eagerness to take part in discussions, and a growing awareness of personal health and safety issues will also come in handy.

The all-important bottom line in this educator resource is that sunscreen doesn’t automatically protect against UVB or shortwave rays (the solar radiation that causes sunburn). Sunscreen just slows down the process by which human skin warms and reddens. The higher the SPF number, the less UVB rays will get through. And while using paper as a stand-in for skin is a great way to demonstrate sun safety, the activity also harnesses kids’ natural curiosity about themselves through fun group shout-out sessions.