Experiment 2: Ultraviolet protection from material

Different types of material allow in different amounts of ultraviolet radiation. Open-weave material will let in more ultraviolet radiation than closed-weave material.

Experiment sheet (.pdf 183kB)


To test different materials to see if closed-weave materials block out more light than open- weave materials.


UV beads will change colour when covered with open-weave material.

The independent variable is the type of material (open or closed weave), the dependent variable is changing colour.


  • UV beads

  • three pieces of different materials the same size (choose different weaves)

  • four containers with the same number of beads in each


  1. Place equal number of beads into the same type of container

  2. Cover three with different types of material

  3. Leave the fourth container uncovered as a control

  4. Place the beads covered with material in the sunlight (make sure that they are all getting the same amount of sun)

  5. After one minute check to see if the UV beads have changed colour.


Record your results. (Digital photographs are a good way of recording the results.)


Open-weave materials let ultraviolet light through while closed-weave materials do not let ultraviolet light through.

Beads in a container covered with a clothe

Testing different types of material

Watch a slideshow of the experiment.

Text Version

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