UV Light Sun Science Experiment {NGSS 1-PS4-2, 4-PS4-2}

Grade Levels
1st - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF
26 pages
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This lesson plan can be used to discuss 2 NGSS standards:
NGSS Grade 1:1-PS4-2:
Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects can be seen only when illuminated.
and NGSS Grade 4:4-PS4-2: Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and entering the eye allows objects to be seen.

This is such a fun way for your students to learn about the sun, UV light, and fluorescence using just water and tonic water. Indoors, water and tonic water look the same but when taken outside on a sunny or cloudy day – the tonic water appears to be a faint glowing blue! Your students will see the difference immediately – it is a fascinating thing to see! Materials: water, tonic water, transparent cups (any size), black paper, optional: flashlights.
Included in this packet: 11 slides that I project onto my classroom whiteboard to introduce the topic and facilitate class discussion, 5 pages of directions and photos for lab, 4 student worksheets with answer keys and teacher explanation.

**Please note: tonic water exposed to UV light turns FAINT blue, not dark blue or medium blue or even light blue! It is not a dramatic color change.It is a faint glowing blue. The photo I have above shows exactly what it looks like. I always tell my students that scientists make careful observations and if they observe well in this experiment, they will see a difference in the 2 waters. Also, before doing this experiment with an entire class, take a cup of the tonic water outside, hold it up against a black piece of paper and make sure you can see the blue! I use Seagrams Tonic Water but I have not tried any other brand.

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Total Pages
26 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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