For those of you who’ve seen this experiment on my Instagram page and wanted to know how it’s done, here you go! I can’t take credit for this wonderful experiment, as it was suggested to us by the book, Curious George Discovers the Sun by PBS Kids. For more fun projects like this one, check this book out!
This week in science class, we are learning about the weather, forces, and energy. We learned that many things like cars, ovens, and even the lights in our homes can be powered by the sun in a process called solar energy. What we created today is called a solar powered oven. And, yes! It can really warm up food, or even cook it! In fact, people used the sun to cook food for hundreds of years!
So how does it work? Well, you’ll need a pizza box, some foil, and plastic wrap. When the pizza box is lined with aluminum foil, it attracts the sun’s heat. When the opening is lined with plastic wrap, the plastic traps the heat and warms the oven. The plastic also reflects light from the foil, which brings heat to whatever food you plan to cook in the oven.
We decided to take the book’s suggestion and make s’mores, but you can cook whatever you’d like. Read below for detailed instructions and more pictures. I didn’t plan on sharing this activity as a blog post, so I don’t have many step-by-step photos. I’m only sharing by popular request!
What You’ll Need:
- one box with a lid ( a pizza box or shoebox is fine)
- aluminum foil
- tape or glue
- black construction paper
- plastic wrap
- craft stick
- the ingredients for your snack (for Smore’s, you’ll need marshmallows, a chocolate bar, and graham crackers).
Scroll Down For Directions!
- Take the lid off your box and cut three sides of a rectangle in the center of your box’s lid to create a flap. (If you are a child reading this, please get an adult to do this step for you.)
- Tape or glue a piece of foil to the inside of your flap.
- Line the inside of your box with aluminum foil. Make sure the shinier side is facing down.
- Tape or glue the foil in place.
- Put your black piece of paper in the bottom of the box.
- Stretch the plastic wrap very tightly over the opening in the lid. Tape or glue it in place.
- Assemble the ingredients for your snack and place inside the box. Put the lid on.
- Prop the flap open with the craft stick and some tape.
- Set your solar oven outside where it’s sure to get a lot of sunlight.
- Check back every 15 minutes until the snack is ready to eat.
We decorated our pizza box to add to the fun!
Have you tried the solar oven? Let us know in the comments below!
Have you heard about my online store? For free and low-cost resources, check out Nike Anderson’s Classroom!