Science Fair Winning Experiment!

 Woohoo! We won the Science Fair! Okay, so there were only 5 class entries in Primary, but still :) The kiddos and I are very proud of our ribbon and certificate:
 Our topic was "Does Sunscreen Really Protect Your Skin?" I got the idea from Steve Spangler's site. Here's what we did:

I purchased some Sune Sensitive paper from Hobby Lobby. It was $9.99 for a pack of 15 sheets but I cut them in half so we only used 3 sheets plus I used a 40% off coupon :)

We placed each sheet in a ziploc baggie and designated one our control sheet with no sunscreen. On each of the other 4 baggies we spread a nickel sized amount of SPF 15, 30, 50 and 70 sunscreen. (I had the SPF 50 and 70 at home since my kids are really fair skinned, but I purchased the Walmart brand SPF 15 and 30 for the experiment).


Once we had all 5 baggies ready I taped them to the lid of a box:
 Then we took the baggies outside and left them in the sun for 5 minutes:

When we got inside I rinsed the paper in cold water and then set it to dry. The results weren't as dramatic as I thought they would be - but you could still tell the difference. Next time I would use more sunscreen on each baggie!

The paper with no sunscreen is just a dark navy blue.

On the SPF 15 protected paper we could see some areas that were protected but the sunscreen was so thin that it didn't provide much coverage.


I forgot to get a picture of the SPF 30 paper, but the SPF 50 paper shows clear areas of protection - you can see where we tried to smooth the cream out!

The SPF 70 protected paper has many more light spots and overall was lighter in color than the other papers. Again, if we had applied more sunscreen I think the effects would have been easier to see.

I was told that the judges really loved our writing. I have to admit that the writing was a simple free write. The kids and I talked about sunscreen, I explained what SPF meant and we talked about why and where we might use sunscreen. Then I gave them a piece of paper and 20 minutes. We did not edit these pieces at all, and I did not provide any help with spelling or sentence structure, except for my kiddos on IEPs. To be honest, we had so much else going on that I simply couldn't take any more time for this project. It was one of those "get it done, just to cross it off the list" kind of moments lol. So I was pretty pleased that they turned out decent! Here are a few samples:
This little guy loves to have me check yes or no. Every time I read his writing I'm reminded of that old George Strait song lol.

 This little sweetie is very persuasive. "Do you want to get red? No, you don't want to get red." Nuff said!
 I love how she refers to Oklahoma as a hot place!

Moral of the story? Don't leave your sunscreen unattended at a waterpark!

I think in total it took about an hour of class time and an hour of prep to buy the supplies and put our board together. I spent less than $20 on it too, so that's a win in my book lol.

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