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Which Type of Sunglass Lenses Gives the Best Sun Protection? (page 2)

based on 10 ratings
Author: Mike Calhoun

Materials

  • UV Light Detector
  • Various sunglass lens types and tints (Blue-blockers lenses, polarized lenses, mirror-coated lenses, gradient lenses, double gradient lenses, and photo-chromic lenses)
  • Empty shoe size box
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors

Research Questions

  • Why is prolong exposure to ultraviolet radiation (light) harmful to the eyes?
  • What affect on UV radiation should an effective pair of sunglasses have?
  • When the UV detector is covered by the lens of a pair of sunglasses and exposed to sunlight if the beads remain white, then the sunglasses are doing what?
  • Which sunglass lens type was most effective in blocking harmful ultraviolet radiation?
  • Which sunglass lens type was least effective in blocking harmful ultraviolet radiation?
  • Is the UV light produced by the Sun able to pass through clouds?
  • Are dark sunglass lenses more effective at protecting the eyes than light ones?
  • What safety features are designed into the UV-Bead Detector?

Procedure

  1. Cut holes in the shoebox that exactly outline the shape of the sunglass lenses.
  2. Place the sunglass lenses over the opening in the box. Make sure sunlight can only enter the box through the lens, seal any crakes and openings with masking tape.
  3. Place the UV detector inside and seal the box with tape.
  4. Place the box in direct sunlight. Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Open the box, observe and record the color intensity of the beads inside the detector. If the beads remain white, then the sunglasses are blocking harmful ultraviolet rays.
  6. Remove the UV-Detector from the box.
  7. Place the detector in area where it will not receive sunlight until the beads turn back to white again.
  8. Once again place the detector in the box, covering the opening with a different pair of sunglass lens.
  9. Place the box in direct sunlight. Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes, observe and record the color intensity of the beads inside the detector.
  10. This same procedure should be repeated with all of the sunglass pairs that will be used in this project. Make sure that the box is completely sealed and that the time of sunlight exposure is consistent.
  11. Calculate the average UV reduction (if any) for each pair of sunglasses.
  12. Record the data in a table similar to the one shown. Use the terms "White," "Light blue,"  "Medium blue," or "Intense or dark blue" when recording the UV-bead color intensity.
Name of Sunglass Lens type        
UV Bead Detector Color Intensity    

UV Level        

 
Blue-blocking lens
 
 
Polarized lens
 
 
Mirror-coated lens
 
 
Gradient lens
 
 
Photo-chromic lens
 
 
 
  1. Using the data in the table, plot a bar graph with UV level along the y-axis and Sunglass Lens Type along the x-axis.

Digging Deeper

Try the same procedure to test sunglasses with gray, brown, and green tinted lenses, as well as prescription sunglasses with different lens thicknesses.

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