Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Solar Ovens

I am proud of my 5th and 6th graders and their hard work on our Solar Energy project. Obviously in this part of Africa, the equatorial sun is rather powerful, so a study in this topic is fitting.  If solar energy could be used more effectively in Africa, it could drastically change the lives of the people here.

Lining everything with foil

After doing research papers on various aspects of solar energy such as solar cars or the cost of solar equipment, it was time to put the sun to the test. We turned recycled pizza boxes into working solar ovens, and set off to cook some s'mores. 

It turns out that in direct sunlight, the solar ovens can get pretty hot! Now we were a little limited; we had to use plastic wrap instead of glass on the window, but even still, within 20 minutes, the oven was at 170 degrees fahrenheit (63 degrees celsius). Definitely hot enough to melt a little marshmallow and chocolate.  Love it when the experiments actually work, and I don't have to tell the kids "It's ok! All scientists have failures!" =)