Brought to you by Chris Hamlett.

Designing a Helmet (activity)

Why would you want to wear a helmet and visor?

What properties does it need?

If you need to wear a helmet with a visor you will want the helmet to be able to absorb the energy of an impact (so that the energy of the impact does not reach your head – that will HURT!) and the visor will need to be able to protect your eyes from UV light.

This activity explores both of these.


The first part uses a chocolate impact tester to explore the toughness of different materials – which, in this case, will be different chocolate bars.

The second part of the activity look at how well different transparent materials absorb UV light by using a UV torch, photochromic beads and different coloured, transparent cellophane sheets.



There is a worksheet that can be downloaded HERE and there is also a risk assessment which can be found HERE (although make sure that it has been signed by the relevant person in your department / employer before running the activity).

Equipment needed

An equipment list can be found HERE.

The worksheet describes the use of a chocolate impact tester – if there is not one available then you can suspend the chocolate bar between two supports (such as food cans) and then either measure the force needed to break the chocolate bar (maybe by dropping known weights on the middle of the chocolate bar) or by pushing down with your finger to get a feel for the force required to break the bar.



Mission Starlight  – an outreach activity developed by the Royal Society of Chemistry and used as their ‘Global Experiment’ in 2014. LINK


How did you get on?

If you have used this activity please let us know how it went by sending us a message – thank you.