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Fluorescent toys

Use a UV light to look at fluorescent pens, toys etc
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)
Chemistry: Chemical Changes (2, 7)
Physics: Light and Sound (1)
Physics: Energy forms, Conservation of Energy (1, 3, 4, 5)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Physical Science: Light and Sound (grade 4)
Physical Science: Chemistry (grade 7)
  • darkened room e.g. behind the curtains on the school stage
  • UV light
  • fluorescent pens, toys
  • optional: fluorescent rock

When you shine light on these items they glow. The UV light gives fluorescent molecules extra energy. They release this energy again as light.
(Older students: discuss how electrons move to a different energy level when excited by the UV light, then release photons of a different colour light as they return to unexcited state).

Grades tested: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 7
Teaching site: 
Eton Arrowsmith Camp
General Gordon Elementary Science Club
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Gordon Elementary Science Club