Orange County student pushes for more sun safety lessons in school

Orange County Public School leaders are updating the curriculum for the next school. The inspiration for a new topic came from one student. 

Apopka High School student Colin Poon felt like students weren't talking enough about the sun risks in school.

"We know Florida is really hot," said Colin Poon, "So we have to be careful." 

Colin says he started noticing the sun's impact on his skin on his daily walks -- and on an especially hot vacation to Taiwan. 

"When I got there, I got a heat rash," said Poon. 

So, he started researching -- What is the sun doing to my skin?

"Surprised me that I didn't know about the impact of UV rays and skin," said Poon. 

According to The American Melanoma Foundation skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U-S.

But, he didn't stop at research. He reached out to Orange County School leaders about adding this information to classes. His email landed in Alex Stubenbort's inbox. Stubenbort helps with the curriculum in schools. 

"When I read the email the first time, instant impact," said Alex Stubenbort, Orange County Schools.

The district said it was already looking at enhancing its high school biology course - so it was perfect timing. 

"Standard on cancer and carcinogens. Both of those really fit into his request," said Stubenbort. 

Starting in the fall, students will learn about UV sun rays and the risk of cancer - thanks to Colin

"Given essay to read and annotate that will be about sun safety," said Studenbort,"All the lessons we would hope would happen will still take place. best part - voice of student heard throughout." 

Colin graduates at the end of next year -- but is excited about the legacy he's leaving behind. 

"In that moment spark of joy and relief this might help change things," said Poon.

Elementary, Middle, and High School students will also discuss sun safety in health and P.E. classes and the district also purchased posters to go up around schools.