Introduction 

How would you cook if you did not have a kitchen or electricity? A campfire is a good alternative, but that could be dangerous or have negative effects on the environment. Can you think of other natural and clean sources of energy? That’s right, the sun is one!

 

In this activity, you will engineer a solar oven using some basic kitchen supplies, construction paper and a box. The oven takes approximately 40 minutes to build, with an additional hour of “cooking” in a sunny spot. This hands-on introduction to solar energy and radiation is fun for the whole family — and tasty because it results in s’mores! 

Materials

In addition to your building materials, you’ll need ingredients to cook with. While there are all kinds of recipes that can be cooked in a solar oven, our favorite is the classic s’mores. 

Cooking with the Sun

Subject

Engineering Design, Physical Science
(Solar Energy) 

Ages

8-13

Time

40 minutes to build, 1 hour to “cook”

Key Concepts

Solar radiation, solar energy, solar reflection, greenhouse effect

Want a challenge?

JUMP IN!

Put a metal object in different sources of light. What happens when it's inside, in the shade, in direct sun?

Want a challenge?

REWARDING & FLEXIBLE

Build a solar oven for s'mores.

Want a challenge?

DESIGN CHALLENGES AHEAD!

Graph your oven's changing temperature.

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