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ERIC Number: EJ758268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Are You UV Safe?
Capobianco, Brenda; Thiel, Elizabeth Andrew
Science and Children, v44 n1 p26-31 Sep 2006
Students may be slathered with SPF 30 sunscreen all summer at the beach or pool, but what do they know about ultraviolet (UV) light radiation and absorption? The authors of this article found the perfect opportunity to help students find out the science behind this important health precaution, when they developed a series of practical strategies to promote students' investigation skills. They integrated several scientific processes into a lesson on UV light radiation and absorption for fourth-grade students and preservice elementary methods students. These teaching tools help students develop their abilities to ask testable questions, plan and design investigations, and interpret what they find. Investigating in the elementary science classroom means carrying out a fair test investigation to explore and develop children's ideas about the natural world. During a fair test investigation, children are making important decisions about what they will test, how they will test, and what they will observe or measure. The central tenet of a fair test investigation is that the investigator always changes something and measures the effect that it has on something else. In other words, the investigation or experiment is structured such that the student is testing only one factor or variable. To engage students in a fair test investigation, teachers need to help students enact the following processes: (1) Generating questions; (2) Planning and conducting a fair test investigation; (3) Making and recording observations; and (4) Using data to construct reasonable explanations. By encouraging students to develop investigation skills, the authors learned first-hand how their respective students could become scientifically literate, motivated, and focused. Students developed the practical knowledge necessary to conduct a fair test investigation as well as the scientific knowledge related to the effects of UV light radiation and absorption. (Contains 4 figures and lists 4 resources.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A