Solar Energy a Renewable Energy Source
During our unit on Energy, students learned about the different types of renewable and non-renewable energy sources and watched a couple of videos that touched their hearts. They learned that not everyone around the world have access to electricity and cooking appliances like a stove or an oven.
This video introduces the Kyoto Oven, which we decided will be difficult for us to make because we don’t have the Plexiglas:
Here’s another video about how Solar Ovens are used in Africa:
For their culminating project, they decided to make a solar oven and find out how effective this simple oven was for heating and cooking food. Students wanted to know, “How much energy can we harvest from the sun? Is a pizza solar oven something that can be used for practical purposes? How can we re-purpose our waste into products that can help people who don’t have financial resources?”
Here’s what they did to design, build, and test the Pizza Box Solar Oven:
Step 1: Use a large pizza box (new or used, but clean it out)
Step 2: You’ll need the following items:
Step 3: With your ruler, measure 1″ from the edge of the box – the sides and front of the box.
Step 4: After marking the area to be cut, use a box cutter (with the help of an adult) to cut the cover.
Step 5: Glue aluminum foil on the inside cover and on the bottom of the pizza box.
Step 6: Tape clear wrap around the opening of the box. Make sure it’s air tight.
Step 6: Line the bottom of the pizza box with black construction paper.
Step 7: Tape a Thermometer to the under side of the clear wrap.
Step 8: Preheat the oven by taking it outside and waiting until the temperature is high enough to cook S’Mores! Yum!
Step 9: Place marshmallows, chocolate candy and/or graham crackers inside the box and wait for it to melt.
- Students learned that the pizza solar oven can reach temperatures up to 200 degrees on a sunny day.
- It takes time for the oven to heat up so patience is important.
- On windy days, make sure your oven is tightly sealed, no air sneaking into the box and cooling it down.
- The best way to keep the lid up is to tape the ruler or pencil down.
- Placing the box in the right position makes a difference in how fast the oven will heat up.
- As long as you’re not wanting to cook something but just want to heat it or melt it, then this oven will do.