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SPICE CONNECTIONS: Variety & Similarity (4 different ovens), Interaction and Interdependence (sun, ovens, food), Change (Temperature)
SUPPLIES: LARGE PIZZA BOXES OR SIMILIAR BOXES, BOX KNIFE OR SCISSORS, HEAVY DUTY ALUMINUM FOIL, CLEAR TAPE, CLEAR PLASTIC WRAP, RULER, OR WOODEN SPOON, ROLLS OF NEWSPAPER, BLACK SPRAY PAINT OR BLACK CONSTRUCTION PAPER, THERMOMETER. Paper and pencils for keeping a record. (you may not use all of these materials, you may substitute other materials).
CLUES: BLACK ABSORBS HEAT FROM THE SUN. INSULATION HELPS TO KEEP THE HEAT IN THE OVEN. THE MORE SUNLIGHT YOU CAN REFLECT INTO THE OVEN THE GREATER THE HEAT. THE BETTER THE ANGLE OF THE SUN'S HEAT TO THE INSIDE OF THE OVEN THE GREATER THE HEAT.
PROCEDURE: Study the pictures of the Kellogg solar ovens above. Notice how they are alike and how they are different. If you want more knowledge, google: HOME SCIENCE TOOLS and scroll through the pages to see the solar oven they made with very precise instructions. Also, you may want to google "Solar Ovens" to see a large number of different designs.
Or, YOU MAY JUST WANT TO GET STARTED EXPERIMENTING! GO FOR IT! Caution: These ovens get really hot and so does the food. Use a pot holder to protect your hands.
P.S. Even though the Kellogg family was in the high mountains, with cool temperature, with some clouds coming and going, and with a breeze, they were able to cook hot dogs, nachos, and S'mores for all the family. That with cold carrots made a great lunch! Their best oven reached 180 degrees F. They put hot dogs on a clear glass plate inside the cookers so they would not be messy. If you live where it is really hot in summer, your oven will get hotter. Can you figure out which of the four solar ovens shown above had the highest temperature? Explain why you chose the one you did for the best one and the worst one. Rank them from 1-4 with (1) being best.
When you have made your best solar oven, experiment with cooking some other foods such as cheese toast, cookies, or reheating food already cooked. Remember it takes longer for the sun to cook food and the best time is on a clear day between 11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Have fun and surprise your mother!
Note: All prices in US Dollars