Sunglasses Experiment #1139


A good first thing to try is a refresh of the browser. Then try running the program again. Let me know if that works!


It’s good to see that others got a better reading on the more expensive glasses. I did not! Unfortunately, second time around with this experiment, I got exactly the same UV reading for give-aways, teen fashion, and Ray-bans! I would like to try again isolating the lenses a bit (as suggested by a cohort who tried ski goggles) and see what happens.

This would be a great lesson at the end of our year as the students go off for summer break; however, I’d only do it if I can find a way to get varied readings.


I noticed that most of my glasses were about the same. I have a pair of panama jacks, costa del mars and some cheap reading glasses and for the most part they were all within the same lux going from about 5000 to 1500 or so. I was kinda surprised that there was not a greater discrepancy but overall glad to see they do in fact work.


One suggestion would be to try some with the lighter lenses or different colored ones to see what kind of a difference they make.


I agree with everyone who mentioned using this lesson at a STEM Summer Camp. We also do a week of dress-up days for Red Ribbon Week and one of the days is usually “We’re too bright to use drugs” and the kids all get to wear sunglasses all day. That would be another good day to pull out this lesson. I love that the set-up time is very short, as I only have each class for a total of 55 minutes, once per week, so this could easily be accomplished in one class period.

The slight differences in the data could be used with older students to teach about ratios and standard deviations and how even a very small difference in data can be significant.

With fifth graders, I would simply have to facilitate and supervise student groups to ensure they are not looking at the sun, but the lesson is simple enough that I would not have to give much direction. Student success would be demonstrated when each group is able to record their data and draw a conclusion from it. I plan to add this activity to a Math review unit I am putting together right after Spring Break for my fifth graders based on the Sun and Sun Spots.

A fun follow-on activity would be to have student groups produce a commercial using a green-screen and video to convince buyers that their product is the best using “laboratory data”! Then, students could have a discussion about how commercials can be very persuasive when quoting scientific research.


Yes!! Great idea - I have a stash of eclipse glasses saved for the next one - I need to find them and try it!


No it didn’t I reinitiated my computer several times and download the program three times but it appears to run the code but it doesn’t complete the green bar. Do you have other suggestions?


I’ll loop in support to see what ideas they have. Do you get any error message at all?



Love the follow on activity. A great way to teach the concept of marketing!


This is a great, simple and very easy activity. This could easily be done with students of all ages. There are many ways you could incorporate this activity. First, you could have students select from various sunglasses and put a price on each pair. Students would have to hypothesize over which pair they tink would work the best. Then you could test them and have the students compare the results. You could have each student have a pair of sunglasses and explain why they think they would or would not be the best.

Another project to do would be to give student, would be to give each student lense and various materials to design their own “sunglasses” after each student designs their own glasses you can test them to see which is the best at blocking light and UV.


Javier, Here are few steps below that I hope can get your serial port working:
A good program to test with is the “Hello World”:
You only need to have the OLED plugged into the Seeeduino. Pls see if you can get the Hello World to display after running the program.

  1. Unplug and replug your Seeeduino/Arduino into the computer USB port to reset.
  2. Fully close Chrome browser and then restart Chrome.
  3. Restart your computer, sometimes serial ports can get into a bad state and stop working

You may directly give me an e-mail at and I am happy to answer any questions and also if you would like we could set up a time that is convenient for you to do some live troubleshooting.


Love your idea for the commercial! That makes my STEAM self very happy! :slight_smile:


I was definitely not supported with my hypothesis. In fact, the UV protection on all three pairs was pretty similar. I had a pair from a conference giveaway (free), a $7 pair from Claire’s (jewelry store for teens) and a pair from Stella Dot ($60). I assumed the Stella Dot pair would have the best UV protection since it was the most expensive. (Side note, I don’t own “real” expensive sunglasses as I would rather have a variety of cheaper pairs and I am too careless for “real” ones. LOL!) When conducting my experiment, it turned out that all three had a similar UV reading. As far as the Lum., the Claire’s glasses blocked the most light, then the giveaways and the Stella Dot was the WORST at blocking light. I would have never guessed that!

I LOVE the idea of doing a commercial for the Sunglasses that work the best as well as the idea of having each student bring in a pair to test to make it personal and then compare the findings in their natural table groups. I think that would be very interesting to them personally!

I currently am doing a unit on Light: Exploring our Sun and Stars for my first graders. (When school is back in session) Part of that unit is designing a model playground to protect students from UV rays and the Sun. This code is perfect for me to test this theory! In the past, we just had UV beads as well as a LittleBits light sensor. Using the this code and experiment set up, the students can have specific and accurate data to compare how well their playground protected students (bead people). We can put the sensor on the prototype of the playground and take readings to compare! I can’t wait to use it when we go back to school! Thanks so much for enhancing my STEAM lesson with a stronger scientific purpose. :slight_smile:


I feel like April showers have arrived in my area. I have been waiting all week on a sunny day to do this activity. Although not really sunny (at least it was not raining), I did get to attempt this activity today. It was very cloudy and overcast which I am assuming is why I got the exact same measurement on the Luminosity for all 3 pair of sunglasses (5343 Lux). I was able to get slightly different readings on the UV light measurements. I was really surprised at the outcome. I tested 2 really cheap pairs that I had and a pair that my husband (commercial fisherman) uses on the lake. I really thought there would be a huge discrepancy in his and my cheap pair. Surprisingly his provided only somewhat more protection than a really cheap pair of mine. Neither were as good as I would have hoped. I will definity be looking for us both a better pair.

I do love the simplicity of this lesson for my elementary students. I discuss UV protection with my students using UV-sensitive beads. This would be another great way for them to learn about light. I would also love to use this lesson with older students then have them do some persuasion writing on the importance of protecting eyes from UV light. I do think students might have a little difficulty in holding them still and in the same spot on each test. I struggled with that and kept getting various readings on the display board.


I love your idea of designing a model playground to protect students from UV rays and the Sun! Ever since my husband has been dealing with skin cancer, I have been interested in making our playground safer for our students.


Love the addition of incorporation persuasion writing for your older students.


This was a challenging lesson since I had to research and learned how to plug the sensor and the oled display to my old arduino.

  1. Where does this lesson fit in with your curriculum?
    This lesson could go well during an energy lesson where students learn about the sun energy, it could also be aligned with health research.

  2. Which part or parts of the lesson would your students need extra support in order to be successful?
    The scientific method for research since this is early during the year.

  3. 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?
    The teacher would model the scientific method so the students learn how to walk around the framework.

  4. If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your student’s role during the class. What does “student success” look like?
    The student will conduct the whole process and to produce data charts comparing different shades. The student could also do a presentation.


I really like how you used the jumper wires to connect to I2C on the board and analog pins, nice Arduino UNO hacking! Thanks for troubleshooting this down to a faulty Seeeduino. I will get a new one shipped out tomorrow.
Thank you


Thank you, I was able to finish all my lessons by hacking!!! I think I learn alot since I was able to learn how to wire instead of just connecting the cables to the ports. Thank you again for this opportunity to learn.


Thanks for sharing. Both lessons would go great together for the summer Camp students. They can test a variety of sunscreen brands and predict which one will be the best.