The Skin Cancer Foundation Launches “I Am Sun Smart” Competition for Teachers and Students

Competition Designed to Raise Sun Safety Awareness
Among Middle and High School Students

New York, NY (October 1, 2013) – The Skin Cancer Foundation is inspiring middle and high school teachers to educate their students on the importance of sun safety this fall by launching I Am Sun Smart, a competition aimed at raising skin cancer awareness and teaching sun-protective behaviors. From now through November 17, students in grades 6 through 12—and their teachers—can win an iPad Air and an iPad mini with Retina display by showing off their sun smarts.

To be eligible for the competition, teachers must register for, download, and teach the “Rays Awareness” lesson plan which is part of Sun Smart U, The Skin Cancer Foundation’s free and interactive Sun Smart U education program about sun protection. “Rays Awareness” can be taught in one or two class periods, and is available as a PowerPoint presentation, as well as in interactive whiteboard formats SMART and Promethean. 

Sun Smart U was designed in accordance with National Health Standards for middle and high school students. Highlights of the program include:

  • a True/False activity to gauge students’ existing knowledge of skin cancer;
  • real-life video segments relaying the story of a young woman’s struggle with melanoma;
  • an animated segment explaining “Sun Smart Steps;”
  • a quiz that helps students identify their skin type (and inherent susceptibility to sun damage) according to the Fitzpatrick scale, and then matches them with a recognizable celebrity. 

Materials for “Rays Awareness” are downloadable, printable and projectable so that teachers can adapt the curriculum to best suit each classroom’s needs. The interactive whiteboard elements have been designed and provided as a generous gift from Saferock Education. 

WeAreTeachers, an organization that connects educators with the resources they need to be successful inside and outside the classroom, is facilitating the competition through its website and vast network of educators. 

Once teachers have implemented “Rays Awareness,” they can enter the competition by having their students create a digital poster or video that communicates sun safety information to students’ peers in a creative and clever way.

“Our hope is to influence youth behavior at a very crucial time in their development, when it comes to making sun-protection decisions,” said Skin Cancer Foundation member Jessica Krant, MD, who medically reviewed the Sun Smart U education program. “There is clearly a need for the program; only 25 percent of 14-year-olds in the US use sunscreen on a regular basis, and between the ages of 11 and 14, young people often significantly decrease their use of sun protection. 1

Submissions will be judged by an educator panel and will be narrowed down to a selection of finalists based on the following criteria: 

  • Content is aligned with the six critical skin cancer prevention guidelines outlined in The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Sun Smart U program
  • Overall quality of entry
  • Creativity


Four winners will then be selected from the finalist pool by Skin Cancer Foundation Member Dermatologists Julie Karen, MD and Jessica Krant, MD, and will be featured on the Foundation’s website, which is visited nearly six million times per year. The winners will also be featured on WeAreTeachers’ website, which receives 2.3 million visits per year. Additionally, the winners’ works will be showcased on The Skin Cancer Foundation and WeAreTeachers’ social media platforms. 

The four student winners (two high school and two middle school) will each receive a 16GB iPad mini with Retina display and Wi-Fi capabilities and an Apple iPad Mini Smart Case. The corresponding teachers (up to four) will receive a full-sized 16GB iPad Air with Wi-Fi capabilities.

Where to Enter

To register for the Sun Smart U program and for complete information about the competition, teachers can visit .The deadline for entries is November 17, 2013, and winners will be announced December 19. 

Sun Smart U was medically reviewed by Skin Cancer Foundation Medical Council Member Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH, Founder of Art of Dermatology in Manhattan and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, NYC.

  1. Dusza S, Halpern A, Satagopan J, Oliveria S, Weinstock M, Scope A, et al. Prospective study of sunburn and sun behavior patterns during adolescence.  Pediatrics 2012; 129:309-317. 

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About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit


About WeAreTeachers
WeAreTeachers was founded with the mission to connect educators with the resources they need to be successful inside as well as outside the classroom.  As we've grown into one of the leading web destinations for educators, we've kept that mission at the heart of everything we do.  Whether it's offering financial resources through grants and contests, providing inspiration with teacher-created lesson plans or empowering teachers with professional development opportunities, we strive to be a source of innovation and ideas for educators so that they can, in turn, inspire learners.