Experiment 1: UV beads change colour in ultraviolet light

Both the sun and a table light give off visible light but only one of these also gives off ultraviolet light. Do you think you can decide which gives off ultraviolet light?

Experiment sheet (.pdf 123kB)


To investigate if UV beads change colour in sunlight or artificial light from a lamp.


When UV beads are put in ultraviolet light they change colour.

The independent variable is the presence of ultraviolet light the dependent variable is changing colour.


  • 12 beads per group

  • container for beads, here is a template (.pdf 188kB)

  • material to cover beads


  1. Place 6 beads in two different boxes

  2. Cover with material to protect before going out into the sunlight

  3. Go to a sunny spot and take the cover off one set of beads

  4. Repeat inside away from a window using an artificial light such as a table lamp


Record your results. For example you could complete the sentences below.

In sunlight the beads …

In artificial light the beads …


UV beads change colour in sunlight and not in artificial light. Both of these light sources have visible light but sunlight has ultraviolet light as well. This supports the hypothesis that the beads change colour in ultraviolet light.

Coloured beads in a container

There is a template supplied to make this container