Education about sun safety and skin cancer awareness has a big impact when started young. Just ask the Chapman Hill Elementary School third graders who decided to learn about the effects of ultraviolet radiation and how it can affect our long-term health as part of a science project. The students created Sun Safe Kits for all students and staff in their school that includes Blue Lizard® Sunscreen, a hat, a UV necklace and an information card on how to practice sun safety.
These Salem, Oregon students were asked to do a project on weather-related hazards for their science standards requirement and also chose to make it part of the Dupont Challenge. The Dupont Challenge is a hands-on science writing competition that helps teachers motivate students to become tomorrow’s STEM-smart innovators (STEM is science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
“The idea for the project was sparked after one of their classmates came to school with a terrible sunburn,” said their teacher Maureen Foelkl. “They begin learning about UV rays and how they can damage our cells. Two third graders, Morgan Duke and Callie Parr, came up with the idea to research how sunscreen works and to contact sunscreen companies to get donations of sunscreen samples. The students contacted three national sunscreen companies, including Blue Lizard Sunscreen, and only Blue Lizard responded. We were thrilled when they said they would donate samples for the students’ project.”
Blue Lizard was quick to respond and support these students’ project because it directly aligns with our mission of spreading the word on the importance of sun safety. The fact that students were interested in learning about this at such a young age was inspiring and Blue Lizard was happy to donate 375 samples for the students to use in their Sun Safe Kits that would be given to the whole student body at their K-5 school.
As part of their project, they learned about the effects of UVA and UVB rays on our skin by performing experiments, putting on a play for their school, creating a Power Point Presentation and creating the Sun Safe Kits. The students learned a lot about practicing sun safety throughout this project and in their own words said, “The solution to reduce the risk of UV weather-related hazards is to be informed daily on weather conditions. We want kids especially to learn more about ultraviolet radiation.”
Their hard work paid off. Chapman Hill Elementary School received an honorable mention for their project in the DuPont Challenge and were one of just eight other schools in the nation to receive that honor.
Written by Cristi Driver