Students will design a solar oven and use it to cook vegetables.
Estimated Time45 Minutes
- S3P1. Students will investigate how heat is produced and the effects of heating and cooling, and will understand a change in temperature indicates a change in heat.
- a. Categorize ways to produce heat energy such as burning, rubbing (friction), and mixing things.
- b. Investigate how insulation affects heating and cooling.
- c. Investigate the transfer of heat energy from the sun to various materials.
- d. Use thermometers to measure the changes in temperatures of water samples over time.
- Building materials
- Pizza boxes, cardboard, poster board
- Aluminum foil, clear plastic wrap
- Colored construction paper, recycled paper
- Glue, shoe laces, hole punchers, brads
- Vegetable to cook in solar oven (can be harvested from the garden)
- Instant-read thermometer
- Explain to students that they will use what they have learned about heat energy to design and build a solar oven in their small group. Give students the opportunity to research solar cookers from around the world and work together in their small groups to draw a sketch of the solar oven they plan to build, labeling it’s features.
- Provide a variety of materials for small groups to use and allow students to bring items from home as well. Allow for work time within the class to construct the solar oven.
- When the solar ovens have been constructed, provide each small group with a slice of a vegetable to cook throughout the day. At the end of the day, students can use a instant-read thermometer to determine which groups vegetable got the warmest and presumably cooked the most.
- Provide time for students to consider how they could re-design their solar oven for the highest effectiveness. If time allows, provide time for students to re-build and repeat their design challenge to compare results again.