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Sun-Sensitive Paper for Solar Art
The sun allows life on Earth to survive and thrive. You can show your students the power of the sun with sun-sensitive paper. Learn how your students can make wonderful works of art with sun-sensitive paper and the power of solar rays. It’s easy and so much fun!
Humans use solar power for many practical reasons, such as providing eco-friendly energy to our homes, but teaching students the power of the sun can be challenging because it’s hard to see the sun’s rays. Using photosensitive paper in your science lessons can make this more tangible for students. With Steve Spangler’s Sun-Sensitive Paper, you can turn sunlight into beautiful works of art. Your students can create white-on-blue prints with any of their favorite objects.
Try placing leaves, flowers, shells or any other item you can think of on the photosensitive paper, and leave it laying in the sun. Remove the objects after a couple of minutes, and rinse the paper in water to reveal a piece of sun art. Your students will be amazed at how the photosensitive paper turns white wherever the object was placed. It’s a fun activity that can engage students in getting creative with light-sensitive paper, as well as encouraging a discussion about the science behind the art. Our Sun-Sensitive Paper is the perfect balance between art and scientific exploration!
Recommended for children ages 6 and up.
Sun-Sensitive Paper: What Does It Teach?
Kids can learn about the nature of sunlight and how light-sensitive chemicals work through sun-sensitive paper art experiments and activities. You can talk about how photos are developed as each layer of chemicals on the film reacts to photons of different colors. This can also help students understand the different uses and impacts of sunlight, as well as encourage them to explore neat ways to create art with light-sensitive paper.
•This kit includes 30 sheets of 5-by-7-inch (12.70 by 17.78 centimeters) Sun-Sensitive Paper.
How Does UV-Sensitive Paper Work?
The UV-sensitive paper is coated with light-sensitive chemicals, which react to light waves and particles when exposed to the sun. When you place objects on the paper, the objects block the light and turn the sheet white, while the UV-sensitive paper around the area remains blue. After the silhouette appears, dunking the sheet in water stops the process in its tracks, preserving your images on the photosensitive paper.
A Perfect Science Fair Display with Light-Sensitive Paper
When the Sun-Sensitive Paper reacts to ultraviolet light, it’s a pretty fantastic demonstration of UV-reactive materials. However, this awesome demonstration isn’t a science fair project on its own. To create a science fair project using light-sensitive paper, you need to identify and use a variable. A variable is an aspect or factor of the experiment that you can control and alter.
Need ideas for variables that you could use? Test different sunscreen brands or SPFs by spreading the sunscreen on the paper or try to find the best pair of UV-blocking sunglasses. Once you identify your variable (the possibilities are endless, so if you come up with better ideas, go with those), start conducting your experiments. Make sure that you keep all other factors the same, or you’ll end up with multiple variables that will invalidate your experiment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use photosensitive paper?
It’s easy! Since photosensitive paper is coated with light-sensitive chemicals, all you have to do is place objects on the paper. This blocks the light. As the light around the object turns the paper a nice hue of blue, the photosensitive paper beneath the object will remain white.
Can you explain how I “set” the image?
It is really easy to set any image, all you have to do is place it on the sheet by itself. If you were to use tape on the edges, then the tape would leave its imprint on your image as well.
What types of objects work best?
Any object will work as long as it blocks the sun. Objects that are semi-permeable or ones that don’t lie flat against the paper may let some light through to cause the developed image to be less defined.
What size is the photosensitive paper?
You get 30 sheets of photosensitive that measure 5 1/2” by 7 1/2”, which is just the perfect size for your class.
How long does it take to work?
It works best if you leave the light-sensitive paper in the sun for about 2 minutes and then bring it in without allowing the covered part the be exposed to sunlight. Let the paper sit in some water for about a minute, and then your image should be ready to be displayed.