Sunglasses Experiment #1139



It’s crazy that you recieved no readings. It would be interesting to test this experiment on a cloudy verse sunny day to compare results.


Great experiment especially for South Florida. It fits in with Earth Science when we talk about light. It is a great way to expose the kids to the different wavelengths of light without doing a traditional prism experiment. I was surprised with how efficient dollar store sunglasses are. The students will love being able to compare expensive sunglasses with cheaper versions. I like that the students create their own hypothesis about which sunglasses are most efficient. I think finding some crazy sunglasses would be fun. I really want to try it with a clear pair which I haven’t done yet.With most experiments the set up of the device seems to be a challange but this was much easier. I think there will be very few problems for students. The students really enjoyed watching how well each type of sunglasses did. After the initial experiment I tested a pair of wrap around glasses and skier goggles. The ski goggles did great!


I like your idea of tying the lesson to photography using different lens covers. Your code of cooperation is a good idea for keeping all students involved.


I had one cheap pair of sunglasses I wear over my glasses, one pair (Stussy) that run about $100, and one pair of Native Wear that say All Polarized on the case. They are the most expensive and have different lenses, so I tried all of them.

The day was not terribly sunny, but not too cloudy either. The Native Wear were the best, but not too much better than the Stussy. With the different lenses, the LUX readings varied a lot, and I can say that the clear lenses must just be for fashion. I saw no difference in the UV ratings… What does this mean? Would it be different on a very sunny day?

I think this would be a fun experiment to try in the fall, and then in the winter when there is snow on the ground, to see if there is a difference.

This might be a good activity in the library since I have a door to the outside, but I’m not sure if students would just be interested on their own. I can see my science teachers finding it useful depending on what they are teaching.
I would just promote and facilitate.
I can see this might be easier if I had another set of hands, so students working in pairs would most likely be ideal. Being consistent might be the most challenging for students.


Photography! That is a great idea. We have a digital photo lab next door to my room. My knowledge of photography is not real good but that is no matter. I am sure the photo teacher would be more than happy to offer suggestions. We just had a conversation the other day of buying name brand or cheaper knock offs. This would be a great way to test and compare two similar pieces of equipment.

Thanks for the idea!


This was also a big surprise for me. I had some really cheap kids sun glasses that did terribly, but my middle cost sun glasses actually did a little better than my prescription ones. Shocker! Goes to show that you can’t trust perception, you have to really test things o find the truth. That is a life lesson that could be tied to this lesson.


Oooh, ooh, oooh! I see a great recruitment tool in this lesson. I want to use this lesson fairly early in the year (when it is still warm outside) and again late in the school year. Then I want to use the information the students learn as a recruitment tool for getting interest in the class. Our school has a carnival late in the school year. Students could set up and run a free sunglasses testing booth to let people know how well their sunglasses are actually protecting them.

Students could also set up a booth at the city fair in late summer to do the same thing and hand out information about our school! Because our school is a charter rather than a traditional public school, getting information about the school out to the community is always a big deal.

I’ll start by asking students to bring their favorite pair of sunglasses to class and let them take it from there. I’ll step in as needed to keep them on task and successful, but I think this is another experiment that will take less involvement from the teacher and will allow for more independent learning.

The most important part of this lesson, I think, will be the discussion at the end when we talk about what they learned and how it applies. I can see that this lesson should be followed closely by the sunblock lesson as well.

I’m so excited for this one! I think the admin is going to be totally stoked…uhm…I mean…LIT for this idea. :wink:


that would be a pretty addition to this lab. Not only test sunglass but to also test Eclipse Sun glasses. It would be compare the real eclipse vs some of the fake ones that got sold during the US Eclipse 2017 hype.


1 ) Where does this lesson fit in with your curriculum (if the lesson is not a fit for the class you teach, how could the lesson be modified so that it is applicable to your curriculum)?

I can use this lab in my robotics class to teach a basic lesson on how sensors work.  It also be used in my physics class when I teach the chapters about light.  It is a quick and easy lab that my class can do and get very fast results.   I also think my students will find it entertaining to test each others’s sunglasses.  I would add the comparison between polarized and non-polarized glasses.  Our light chapter in physics covers both luminosity and polarization.  I actually think I might use this as an exploratory lab.  Show them how the equipment works but not give them a procedure.  This is a pretty straight forward lab making it a great experiment for the students to figure out on their own.  
  1. Which part or parts of the lesson would your students need extra support in order to successful?

    This lab is so straight forward that I do think they will need much extra support. I think that with one explanation, the class will very quickly be able to complete this lab.

  2. If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your role during the class. What does a successful teacher actively do during this lesson?

    I would explain to the students how to work the sensor and make sure they understand where the UV and ultraviolet sensors on the board are located at. Other than that, I will walk around outside and make sure that they do not have any questions for me.

  3. If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your student’s role during the class. What does “student success” look like?

    I would want the students to learn good experiment procedure with this lab, in addition to understanding luminosity. This is a good for the students to make hypothesis and come with their own experiment on how to test their hypothesis. Student success would be a well written procedure, thoughtful hypothesis, organized data tables, and well written conclusion.