In the Classroom

Activity Title

UV Bracelets

Science Discipline

Chemistry: How the light rays are produced by the sun and detected on the UV beads

Biology: How UV rays cause damage to our skin, immune system and eyes


Ultraviolet radiation



Educational Innovations provides lesson plans on their website for how this activity can be implemented at various grades.



What are UV rays?

(Answer: UV stands for Ultraviolet light which is electromagnetic radiation that is invisible to the human eye and travel in waves. Over expose to these light waves can cause skin and eye damage.)

Where do UV rays come from?

(Answer: The main source of UV rays come from the Sun but some types of light bulbs also give off significant amounts of UV radiation)

How did the UV rays change the color of the beads?

(Answer: The energy of the Ultraviolet light is transferred to the colorless pigment on the beads causing the molecules to undergo a chemical reaction and change the pigment to a colored form. This is a process called photochromism)

How could you design an experiment to test how much UV light different kinds of light bulbs give off using the UV beads?

Next Generation Science Standards