The Design Process
It can be hard to keep students engaged when covering the design process, and I find that hands-on activities like a solar oven is a great way to make this topic fun! Building a solar oven is an easy and fun activity to do with your students! By constructing a solar oven, students can learn about heat transfer, energy transfer, and insulation.
This activity is great for teaching students the design process, and then having them apply it to a real-life experiment! The design process is the cornerstone of all things STEM and is a vital tool for every scientist. This is also a great opportunity for students to use their collaboration skills- another must-have skill set in a successful scientists toolbelt.
It is Simple to Make a Solar Oven!
A solar oven is very easy to make, and it uses common classroom and household materials! Cardboard, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and construction paper is all you need!
Once the initial design is complete, students can run various tests. I like to compare the temperature inside the oven to the temperature outside the oven. You can test different types of insulation to see which works best.
And once you test the design, you can make a fun treat with your students! A solar oven does not produce enough heat to do any actual cooking, but you can make things like s’mores or nachos!
Great Discussion Starting Point!
While you and your students enjoy your delicious treat, you can have a discussion on renewable energy sources! Students can learn about the importance of solar power and other renewable energy sources and how they can help us reduce our carbon footprint. What forms of energy are renewable? What sources are non-renewable?
Solar Ovens can be complex! Some are even able to function the same way a standard oven does! This is not possible in a school classroom with school supplies, but more complex ovens can cook meals!
In conclusion, a solar oven is a fun, delicious, and educational tool to use in the science classroom. By building and experimenting with a solar oven, students can learn about energy transfer, insulation, and heat transfer. It also provides a great opportunity to teach about renewable energy sources and their benefits. Check out these other STEM Activities
Would you like to get a free copy of my solar oven activity? This is a great STEM activity for a sunny day! Perfect for a spring or summer enrichment activity!
You can have this activity FREE! Join my newsletter and get science ideas, special discounts and more delivered to your inbox.Students will design and build a solar oven to convert energy from one form to another. Students will go through the engineering design process and use science and engineering practices to create a solar oven that really works! Students will apply scientific ideas to design and build a working solar oven in this fun, hands-on science lesson.
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STEM activities provide challenges for students and help them to use critical thinking skills. STEM activities get students using the 21st century skills of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. I have a variety of STEM activities that your students will love!