Carnegie STEM Girls: Make a Solar Oven to Cook S’mores

Your Challenge: Build a solar oven to make yourself some delicious s’mores!

Materials:

  • Large pizza box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Black construction paper
  • Clear plastic or plastic wrap
  • Stick or dowel
  • Chocolate
  • Graham cracker
  • Marshmallows

Here’s How:

  1. Draw square on pizza box that is one inch smaller than length of box
  2. Cut out three sides (front, right side, left side) of square
  3. Glue aluminum foil, shiny side out, to the inside of the flap that you just made out of the box lid
  4. Glue another piece of aluminum foil, shiny side out, to the inside bottom of the box
  5. Tape black construction paper over top of the foil you just glued
  6. Stick clear plastic or plastic wrap to the opening in the lid from the inside of the box. Try to make the seal as airtight as possible
  7. Place graham crackers inside your pizza box on the black construction paper
  8. On half the graham crackers place chocolate and on the other half marshmallows
  9. Close your pizza box
  10. Place your pizza box somewhere it can get sun
  11. Use stick or dowel to prop up your flap with aluminum on it. It should be in a position so that it is reflecting sunlight into the box
  12. Wait about an hour or sooner depending on temperature and then combine your crackers to make s’mores!

How It Works:

Our solar oven works similarly to the greenhouse effect. Sunlight is reflected off the aluminum increasing the amount of incoming light to the box. The black paper absorbs the light and turns its energy into heat. While the plastic keeps the heat sealed inside the box but allows light to pass through much like our own atmosphere!

Fun Facts:

S’mores is a conjunction of the words “some” and “more”
August 10 is national s’mores day
Americans buy about 90 million pounds of marshmallows every year


Energy (Renewable), Heat
K-6, Middle School

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