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How effective are automobile sunshadesFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was conducted to compare the effectiveness of different types of sunshades in reducing the temperature inside a car. The tests were done without a sunshade, with a reflective sunshade made from plastic air bubble insulating material, and a reflective foam sunshade.


The reflective bubble sunshade will be the most effective cooling.

Scientific Terms

Ultraviolet radiation, insulators



The interior of a car that is parked outdoors on a hot sunny day can reach temperatures of up to 90 °C. This drastic increase temperature is caused by a combination of hot temperatures outside the car and lack of proper ventilation for the hot air to escape out of the car. Utraviolet radiation from the sun also enters through the windscreen and heats up the air in the car. The front windscreen also sometimes acts like a magnifying glass, intensifying the sun rays, and make the car interior hotter on sunny days.

These extreme conditions will not only cause a lot of discomfort to the driver and his passengers, they can also damage the interior of the car. The two methods that are normally used to reduce the build up of temperature in the car are tinting the car windows or using sunshades. Tinting the window involves permanently installing a film on the window of the car. In some countries, this is not permitted by law.

Sunshades on the other hand, are removable. They are very effective in blocking the sun’s rays from entering through the car’s windshield. Sunshades are able to prevent and block about 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays from entering inside the car.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 1 day for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Ensure that cars are driven by persons with valid driving licenses.