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Sunny Science: Build a Pizza Box Solar Oven

An engineering enterprise from Science Buddies
Observations and results
Did your solar oven get hot? Were you able to cook a tasty s'more using your oven?
In this activity you built a simple box-type solar oven that should have been able to cook a s'more in sunny, warm conditions. In some trials using a solar oven that was made based on this design, at 85 to 90 degrees F on a sunny afternoon it took about 30 to 35 minutes for the marshmallow to get warm enough to become soft and melt some of the chocolate to make a tasty, solar-powered treat! In ideal conditions this solar oven can easily heat up to about 160 to 200 degrees F. Using full, direct sunlight is important for heating this solar oven—the sunlight needs to be reflected into the oven (primarily from the aluminum foil-covered flap, but also from the inside of the box), and the heat must be trapped and retained inside by the plastic "window." This heat is also absorbed by the black paper to heat the food that is placed on top of it.
More to explore
Solar Energy, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Solar Energy, from Kids & Energy ESD Bulgaria
Now You're Cooking!, from Science Buddies
Solar-Powered Water Desalination, from Science Buddies

This activity brought to you in partnership with Science Buddies

Science Buddies

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