Solar Energy Beads pack/1000
fun and can be a health measure for kids to take with them
Yes, the beads turn color when struck by UV light. And that's cool, but a bag of white beads held out in the sun becomes a bag of many colors. Great.
But it's on an overcast day, when they still turn color, but over about five seconds, instead of instantly, that is educational for kid who are all-too-ready to hit the tanning beds for a "healthy tan." They never believe they can get sunburned on a cloudy day . . . until you give them their own bead and let them see it has color. I give each student their own bead and tell them to put it on a key ring or sew it onto a hat, and when it turns color, think about sunscreen. Of course, with campers like my daughter has, they're all told to bring sunscreen. With a small plastic bag given to each kid, and spread with THEIR sunscreen, kids can see IMMEDIATELY just how effective their sunscreen is, or ISN'T. Make kids AWARE of the sun and what it can do to northern European-descent skin in the spring through fall. And when they talk about "healthy tan" show them pictures of wrinkled skin of people who got "A Great Tan" every summer. THAT they might listen to, even if they blow off warnings of skin cancer.
June 9, 2015
Cool beads that teach a lesson
The title of "Solar Energy Beads" is a bit mysterious, but what they REALLY do is to let kids be aware of ultraviolet light. They won't change color in the strongest indoor light, but even a cloudy, overcast day will change them from pearl-white to purple, pinkish-red, pale blue, or yellow very quickly. Kids can test "sun screen" effectiveness by putting beads in small plastic bags coated with each product and seeing which keeps them from changing color the longest. But I've been handing each kid a bead to put on their keychain or backpack so they'll KNOW when there's UV light around and they can think about sunscreen. As I said, UV makes it through overcast but no kid believes you — until they see these beads change color on a bright cloudy day. My skin is far northern European. It has two colors: white or red. It doesn't do "tan". Sun damage is a real problem and these beads remind you to protect yourself. My daughter is going to be handing them out at summer camp where she's a counselor this summer. They'll test the sunblock they brought with them to camp to see which needs to be reapplied most often.
But they're just cool things to have around for kids to see turn color and realize sun CAN be harmful, even on a cloudy day.
June 12, 2014
Great for UV experiments
These beads work very well for a variety of classroom UV experiments.
January 26, 2010