Kids Corner: Going Solar with A Cooker!

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You’ve probably heard a lot from us about going solar, especially since our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign is to go solar, but did you know that kids can go solar too?! Recently at camp, we made a solar cooker to make some ooey-gooey s’mores and it was a blast! Want to try it at home? Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials:

Leftover Cardboard Pizza Box | ExActo Knife or Scissors | Aluminum Foil | Tape | Plastic Wrap | Black Paper | Some sort of Propping Item (Ruler/Stick/etc…)

Methods:

  1. Cut a flap on the lid of the pizza box. 3 edges should be cut roughly 1″ away from the actual edge of the box. Fold the flap so it stands up when the box is closed.
  2. Cover the inside of the flap with the foil. This will reflect the sun’s rays. Tape the edges of the foil to the outside of the flap to give it extra security.
  3. Cover the inside of the cut out hole with clear plastic wrap – TIGHTLY!
  4. Line the inside of the box with black paper.
  5. Place s’more (without the top graham cracker) inside of the box and then close the lid.
  6. Angle the flap so that it will reflect the sunshine onto the plastic wrap and prop the flap at that angle using a stick or ruler.
  7. Wait a while – it may take 30-45 minutes to fully melt the chocolate and make the marshmallow fluffy! When finished, use the top of the graham cracker to help mush the marshmallow down and pick up the s’more.
  8. Enjoy the smooshy, goopy, yummy s’more!

Follow Up Questions:

  1. When is the best time to put the oven in the sunshine? When is the sun shining down the brightest? Why do you want the sun to be shining brightly?- 11am-3pm. Putting the box out during these times allows for maximum absorption of the sun’s energy, helping to cook the food faster!
  2. Why do we line the box with black paper instead of white paper? Black absorbs heat, while white reflects it. The color of the inside helps warm the oven up!
    1. Compare results using white paper instead of black and add a thermometer to the box to be able to compare temperatures and results!
  3. Why do we cover the hole with plastic wrap? – Similarly to how the planet’s atmosphere traps the sun’s warmth (Greenhouse Effect), we want to capture it’s warmth in our cooker.
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Camper shows off her hands after eating the chocolatey-mess of a s’more!

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