Stay Safe in the Sun

UV protection goes high-tech.

Years ago, if people wanted to get a really good tan, they would slather on baby oil! Nowadays, we know that's a recipe for disaster. In an attempt to prevent skin cancer, many people now use sunscreen with UV (ultraviolet) protection. But, how do you know you've used enough or that it hasn't worn off? That's what the My UV Patch was created to help with.

CBS News reports on a new type of wearable technology designed to help you stay safe in the sun. The patch, from L'Oréal, contains photosensitive dyes that react when exposed to the sun. It's accompanied by a special app. Users simply apply the patch, preferably to the back of the hand or wrist, and then periodically scan the patch with a smartphone app. The app can assess the amount of UV rays you've been exposed to and offers useful tips to stay safe. The patch is waterproof, can remain on the body for several days, and is designed to encourage children and young adults to become more aware of their sun exposure.

Supporting Web Links
Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. Share one of the videos from the article or the Supporting Web Links section with the class. Are students using sunscreen appropriately? Have they known anyone who has had skin cancer due to sun exposure? Would a wearable device like My UV Patch encourage them to be more attentive?
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to do some brainstorming and develop a concept for a wearable device similar to the My UV Patch. What is the purpose of the device? Does it solve a problem? What type of technology would it need to include? How would students make the device available to interested consumers? Each group should create a mock-up of their device and present their ideas to the class.
  3. As an individual project, students should research a wearable device, preferably something that is new and unique. Students should explain the purpose of the device and identify the manufacturer and the technology it uses. How much does it cost to buy it? Are there additional fees such as a monthly subscription or an app fee? Students should create a presentation to explain the device to the class.


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