Cooking with the Sun - Creating a Solar Oven

By Kari Clase1, Peg A Ertmer1

1. Purdue University

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RGS Summer 2011 Supplemental Material
For this activity, students will be given a set of materials: cardboard, a set of insulating materials (i.e. foam, newspaper, etc.), aluminum foil, and plexiglass. Students will then become engineers in building a solar oven from the given materials, keeping in mind that the oven should not only be able to collect as much of the sun's energy as possible but
also to store it. Students will experiment with heat transfer through conduction by how well the oven is insulated and radiation by how well it absorbs solar radiation. Upon completion they will test the effectiveness of their designs both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitatively, they will attempt to actually bake something in the ovens. Quantitatively, they will take periodic temperature measurements and plot a temperature
versus time graph. Afterwards, students will think like engineers and discuss the solar oven's strengths and weaknesses when compared to a conventional oven.


Contributed by: Techtronics Program, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University

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  • Kari Clase; Peg A Ertmer (2012), "Cooking with the Sun - Creating a Solar Oven,"

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