We believe that climate change is the single greatest challenge of the 21st century, and that no long-term goals are more important than those supporting sustainability. Therefore, we knew that our project had to address clean energy, natural disasters, and climate change. The team also wanted to design a project that could translate to real impacts in the community, so our activity needed to leave students with a product they could use to change their day-to-day lives, and the lives of the family and neighbours. So, we settled on solar cookers!
What it does
These amazing devices are very cheap to build. Plus, they only require a few recycled and common household materials. With some patience and on a hot day, they can cook your meals! As well, the process of building the solar cookers will allow students to better understand how they work, along with scientific concepts regarding the law of reflection, thermodynamics, and the greenhouse effect. We hope that the solar cooker (and their new understanding of climate issues and Earth science) will inspire students to develop climate initiatives in their community!
How I built it
The build process is quick and easy!
- Hunt for recycled cardboard boxes and the other materials (aluminum foil, saran wrap, black paper, and a metal container)
- Cut and fold the aluminum foil into size that corresponds to the base and the sides of the container
- Wrap the aluminum foil on the “wings” of the containers to create reflective “mirrors”
- Place a black piece of paper in the centre of the base
- Place a metal can on top of the black paper
Challenges I ran into
Cooking with any solar cooker can be a long process, so we had to find an entertaining demonstration of their power that could be completed in a few 90 minute lessons. In the end, we decided that the teachers would start a cooker ahead of time on the first day so the students could actually try an egg. They will also get to make their own tea on the second day!
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are very proud of the finished solar cooker, which heats up very well even in Canadian Fall weather!
What I learned
We learned the value of persistence and teamwork when facing a difficult problem.
What's next for Team Infinity
Back to school, to learn more about science, and to science outreach volunteering, to share it with others!