A practical science investigation for middle school students: designing a simple cost effective chemical solar radiation dosimeter

Downs, Nathan and Larsen, Kim and Parisi, Alfio and Schouten, Peter and Brennan, Chris (2012) A practical science investigation for middle school students: designing a simple cost effective chemical solar radiation dosimeter. Teaching Science: The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association, 58 (1). pp. 48-51. ISSN 1449-6313

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A practical exercise for developing a simple cost-effective solar ultraviolet radiation dosimeter is presented for use by middle school science students. Specifically, this exercise investigates a series of experiments utilising the historical blue print reaction, combining ammonium iron citrate and potassium hexacyanoferrate to develop an ultraviolet sensitive solution. The activity is intended for implementation into courses of study based on the new Australian science curriculum, and the strand Chemical reactions matter. The activity investigates rates of reaction and examines the influence of an invisible physical catalyst, solar radiation. The developed photochemical dye was tested for use as a solar dosimeter by painting or soaking various common materials with the solution. A soaked cloth dosimeter was determined to be the most practically appropriate. Its use as a 'magic cloth' or polyethylene filtered ultraviolet radiation dosimeter, capable of being calibrated to incoming solar radiation is discussed. The exercise is presented as a practical guide that can be followed by middle school aged science students beginning studies in physics, chemistry or the environment. The experiment may also be extended and applied to senior chemistry investigations.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited with blanket permission of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 21:42
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2014 03:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: dosimeter, UV, science teaching, ultraviolet, senior chemistry
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22927

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