Skin and the Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation

Towards finding a solution to the unit's Grand Challenge Question about using nanoparticles to detect, treat and protect against skin cancer, students continue the research phase in order to answer the next research questions: What is the structure and function of skin? How does UV radiation affect chemical reactions in the skin? After seeing ultraviolet-sensitive beads change color and learning how they work, students learn about skin anatomy and the effects of ultraviolet radiation on human skin, pollution's damaging effect on the ozone layer that can lead to increases in skin cancer, the UV index, types of skin cancer, ABCDEs of mole and lesion evaluation, and the sun protection factor (SPF) rating system for sunscreens. This prepares students to conduct the associated activity, in which they design quality-control experiments to test SPF substances.