Spangler Science’s UV Beads are one of my (many) favorites of Steve’s products, and there are so many interesting things that can be done with them!
Combining science and literature is also one of my favorite things to do with students, and since science can be teamed up with everything else, creating a combination mystery story/fairy tale/science project is easy!
I like mysteries, and I like fairy tales, and I like science. Let’s put them together!
What possible mystery could there be about UV Beads? Well, for starters, they’re all identical in the package – snow white, and not really very interesting in appearance. Ah, but appearances can be deceiving. . . .
And what connection could we make between UV Beads and fairy tales?
What if an intrepid young person were to be given a goal, say, the King offered his kingdom as a prize to whoever brought him the most interesting object in the kingdom? Young men and young women everywhere would flock to the palace in hordes, each with ideas and suggestions and examples, and it would be up to the King to select the most interesting object and award the prize.
Now, one young man in particular had an idea, and he knew it was a good one.But he needed to package his idea in such a way that he could easily transport it to the palace.
His idea? UV Beads. They were white and mysterious, and yet when exposed to the sunlight, they turned into a beautiful rainbow of bright colors. That’s pretty interesting, don’t you think? This young man thought so. His name was Sol, and he was a young man of many talents.
One of his talents was needlework, and he decided to get out his crochet needle and work a simple bracelet containing five beads, one of each color, to bring to the King.
He started with a basic chain stitch.
After that fifth stitch, Sol slipped a UV bead over the loop.
Five plain white UV beads with five stitches in between layers, and Sol snipped the yard and tied the ends into a bracelet!
Sol slipped the bracelet onto his arm, but on his way to the palace, he thought of some other ways to prove to the King that his contribution to the contest was the most interesting one. He made a few more bracelets, and put them into amber medicine bottles!
He put all the bottles in his backpack and set out to the palace to show the King. The UV beads were so fascinating to Sol that he just knew the King would think so, too.
Here’s a closeup of what the bracelets looked like in their amber bottles:
When Sol arrived at the palace, he presented a bottle to the King, who said, “What is this? An amber bottle with a simple bracelet inside? How is this interesting?”
“Just you wait, Your Majesty,” said Sol. “Slip this bracelet on your wrist, and go stand by that window with your bottle.”
The King did so, and the moment the sun’s UV rays touched the plain white beads, they began to turn beautiful colors.
“This is amazing!” shouted the King. “This is by far the most interesting thing I’ve ever seen! Please tell me more!”
So Sol explained to the King about the sun’s UV rays, and about the amber bottle being able to block these rays.
“So this is why my medicine always comes in an amber bottle!” shouted the King. “UV rays have the power to change things!”
“That’s right!” said Sol happily. He had a feeling that he knew who was going to inherit the kingdom, and he was right, too.
“I brought enough amber bottles and bracelets for everybody in the court,” said the new King Sol.
And they all lived happily ever after, and nobody was ever sunburned again.