IRS Proposal





An investigation of the UV Distribution Patterns in SST and a Development of an Innovative solution

Environmental Science, Medicine & Health

We have chosen this topic as we want to find a way to reduce the amount of UV Rays at the area which receives the most amount of UV Rays using Sunscreens.


Hypothesis / Hypotheses
There is a very strong amount of UV rays in the school garden where the pond is located.
Independent variable
Factors include:
(a) Amount of UV light that enters into the area.
(b) Time of Day

Dependent variable

The performance refers to:

The amount of UV ray prevented from entering a certain area.

We will use the same place.
We will perform the experiment at the same time of the day.
The thickness of the box that we are going to use will be the same.

It is centered in SST as we have to look for materials and test for the Amount of UV Rays around the school.
It is bound by out knowledge on materials as we do not know many of the material properties.
The type of sunscreen materials that we have for our research.
The amount of UV rays that SST is exposed to.

LabQuest App
Vernier UVB Sensor quarter
ring stand and clamp

selection of sunscreens two 4 × 6 inch index cards empty film canister scissors
plastic wrap

Main Procedure

  1. Prepare your test cards.
    1. Obtain two 4 × 6 inch index cards.
    2. Using a quarter as your guide, draw three circles on each test card as shown in Figure 2.
    3. Use scissors to cut out the circles.
    4. On one test card, label the circle on the left as your control.
    5. Using both test cards, label the remaining five circles with the SPF values of your five assigned sunscreens. Move from left to right and begin with the lowest SPF value. Note: Your SPF values may be different from those shown in Figure 2.
  2. Cover the test cards with plastic wrap.
Figure 2
  1. Cut out a 4 × 6 inch piece of plastic wrap. The person who does this should have clean hands with no sunscreen or lotion on them.
  2. Lay the plastic wrap neatly on top of one of the test cards. Try to keep the plastic wrap flat so it is not wrinkled, but do not stretch it.
  3. Tape the four corners as shown in Figure 2.
  4. Repeat Steps 2a–c for the second test card.
3. Apply the sunscreens to the test cards.
  1. Place the first test card in front of you with the plastic side facing up.
  2. The circle labeled “control” should be kept clean. It will be used to measure the effect of the plastic wrap by itself.
  3. Starting with the sunscreen that has the lowest SPF, squeeze a very small amount of sunscreen on your finger.
  4. Spread the sunscreen thinly and evenly over the appropriate circle on the plastic wrap.
  5. Wipe off your finger well with a paper towel.
  6. Repeat Steps 3c–e for all the remaining sunscreens.
  7. Let the sunscreens dry while you complete Steps 4–9.
4. If you are not already outside, gather all of your equipment and go outside at this time.
  1. Connect the UVB Sensor to LabQuest and choose New from the File menu. If you have an older sensor that does not auto-ID, manually set up the sensor.
  2. Use the shadow of the UVB Sensor to aim it correctly without looking directly at the sun.
    a. Hold the sensor with your thumb and first finger, pointing the sensor in the general direction of the sun.
    b. Find the sensor’s shadow and observe how it changes shape as you move the sensor around.
21 - 2
Earth Science with Vernier
Comparing Sunscreens
c. Move the sensor around until the shadow becomes a small round circle. This indicates that the sensor is now pointing directly at the sun.
  1. Keeping this sensor orientation in mind, clamp the UVB Sensor onto the ring stand as shown in Figure 3.
  2. Once the sensor is securely on the ring stand, use the shadow again to make final adjustments to assure that the sensor is pointing directly at the sun.
  1. Set up the data-collection mode.
    1. On the Meter screen, tap Mode. Change the data- collection mode to Events with Entry.
    2. Enter the Name (SPF) and leave the Units field blank. Select OK.
  2. You are now ready to collect UVB data.
a. Start data collection.
Figure 3
  1. Hold the test card with the control over the tip of the
    UVB Sensor as shown in Figure 3.
    Important: The side with the sunscreen should be facing out, away from the sensor. Sunscreen should never come in contact with the UVB Sensor. It is okay if the plastic lightly touches the tip of the sensor.
  2. When the reading has stabilized, tap Keep and enter 0 (for SPF 0). Select OK. The first data pair has now been saved.
  3. Repeat Steps 8b–c for each of the five sunscreens typing in their SPF values when prompted.
  4. Stop data collection.
  1. To examine the data pairs on the displayed graph, tap any data point. As you tap each point, the light intensity and SPF values of the point are displayed to the right of the graph. Record the UVB light values in the data table. 
  2. Use the sunscreen that prevented most of the UV ray from passing through to cover an entire box(exterior) 
  3. Put the sensor inside the box and allow sunlight to pass through. If the UV ray that passes through the box is in the 'healthy' zone, than it is a good sunscreen that can be used for out real shelter.
  4. We will then research on the materials used to make it.
  5. We will then make a solid form of it and attach it to another box ( of same characteristics ).
  6. If the UV ray that passes through the box is once again in the 'healthy' zone, then we have made a good shelter.
            Ps. For steps 1 - 9, please refer to Exp 21 Sunscreen LQ(view the folder) for better understanding with the illustrations given.
Furthermore, we will be testing only those sunscreens which prevent UV Ray and are transparent and not those which are merely translucent/opaque and block our sunlight. Otherwise, an opaque barrier will solve the problem. However, we want light to still be able to pass through so that plants can get light/ soccer players can get the sunny environment.         
Data Analysis

From the graphs plotted, we are able to determine the best type of sunscreen for the following factors:
(a) How the different chemicals in the sunscreens affect the amount of UV rays is reduced.
(b) The amount of light the sunscreen allows to pass through.
(c) The cost of the sunscreen.
(d) How long will the sunscreen last before it becomes ineffective.


1. List/identify the hazardous chemicals, activities, or devices that will be used
Chemicals which help the sunscreen become its 'solid state'.
Having to mix the sunscreens with different chemicals/ use different apparatus/ do experiments. 
Bunsen burner will definitely be used to make sure that the sunscreen is totally in its liquid state so as to test for its level of contents e.t.c.

 2. Identify and assess the risks involved.
Electrical risk – due to leak of the electricity 
Chemical risk – the chemical may hurt the person setting up the experiment

3. Describe the safety precautions and procedures that will be used to reduce the risks.
We will try to do the experiment when it is not raining as a sensor which requires electricity to operate source are used.

We will handle gloves when handing with the chemical substances made into solid form by us.

We will make an area for ourselves and cover the floors of our area with newspaper so that if a substance suddenly flows out and is harmful, we can just wipe it away.

 4. Describe the disposal procedures that will be used (when applicable).

5. List the source(s) of safety information.
SST Lab safety instructions

1. Use of ICT skills
2. Application of the 21st century skills – 10 Cs
3. Applied Learning
4. Master the Scientific Method
5. Design and set up an experiment
6. Able to make a prototype
7. Have the principle to accept our idea and apply to the school


Phase                 Task                                                                                    Date/Duration
1                           Preparation and approval of Group Project Proposal            Term 3 week 5 to 10                    2012
2                           Preparation for Experimental Research                                 Term 4 week 5                          2012
3                           Experimentation                                                                    Term 4 week 5 to 6                 2012
4                           Submission of Method and results                                         Term 1 week 5                        2013
5                           Preparation Individual written reports                                     Term 1 week 7                         2013        
6                           Preparation of Group written reports                                      Term 1 week 8                         2013
7                           Feedback to students for improvements                                Term 1 week 9                         2013
8                           Oral Presentation & Individual Contribution                            Term 1 week 10                       2013
9                          Insight and Reflection                                                            Term 2 week 1 to 5                 2013



  1. We have chosen this topic as we want to investigate the amount of UV light at different times of the day. Having know this, we can find a way to reduce the amount of UV rays such as by using sun screens.


    Hypothesis / Hypotheses
    There are certain times of the day that the amount of UV rays in the
    eco-garden is the highest.

    Independent variable
    (a) Time of Day

    Dependent variable
    (b) Amount of UV light received

  2. You need to write Bibliography according to the format laid out at

  3. Markers remarks:::

    Independent variable
    (b) Time of Day

    Dependent variable
    (a) Amount of UV light that enters into the area.