SPOTS (Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students) is a community outreach program designed to teach students from preschool through high school about the importance of early detection and prevention of skin cancer. Medical students visit local schools to instruct students about sun safe habits, avoiding artificial tanning beds, and skin self-exams.

SPOTS started as a collaboration between Saint Louis University and Washington University Medical Schools in Saint Louis, Missouri, but has expanded to programs across the country, and with your help, will continue to do so. Download teaching materials to start your own SPOTS chapter today.

Why SPOTS

  • Just 1 blistering sunburn as a child or teen can nearly double your chance of melanoma (a serious skin cancer).
  • Melanoma incidence has significantly increased and is the second most common type of cancer in females ages 15-29.
  • Practicing sun protective methods can decrease the risk of developing melanoma.
  • Sun protection is important for everyone – even people with darker skin that doesn’t burn easily. Some skin cancers also present differently on darker skin. We created a module that focuses on skin cancer prevention and early detection for teenagers with skin-of-color.

Learn more about SPOTS



SPOTS educational materials

The SPOTS training materials can be previewed and downloaded from this site. This is provided for all SPOTS teachers as well as any students, parents, or administrators who would like to learn more about the program.