Summer Solar S’mores!
Engineer your very own solar cooker, and enjoy these delicious treats all summer long!
Here is what you’ll need:
- Pizza Box
- Black Construction Paper
- Plastic Wrap
- Aluminum Foil
- Glue Stick
- Bamboo Skewer
- S’more ingredients (graham crackers, Hershey chocolate bar, marshmallow)
How to construct the solar oven:
1. Assemble the pizza box (if a new box) and open it.
2. Glue aluminum foil to the inside bottom and sides of the box.
3. On the top of the pizza box, measure and draw a square with the edges 1” from the sides of the box.
4. Cut three sides of the square to form a “flap.” Do not cut the fourth side, which is closest to the back edge of the box.
5. Fold back and crease the fourth side. This side will act as a hinge.
6. Glue aluminum foil to the inside of the flap, shiny side out, as smoothly as possible. This will be your reflector and will reflect sunlight into the oven.
7. Cut a piece of plastic wrap big enough to fit over the opening of the flap.
8. Tape the plastic wrap tightly over the opening, to secure all four sides. You will have to tape it to the hinge-edge of the flap.
9. Cut a second piece of plastic wrap big enough to cover the flap, and tape it to the underside of the pizza box top. Stretch it tightly, and tape it securely on all four sides. This will give you two layers of plastic covering the opening of the flap, making a window.
10. Tape the sheet of black construction paper in the center of the inside bottom of the box. It will be on top of the aluminum foil.
11. Seal the outside edges of the box with tape to prevent any air from leaking in. Make sure you can still open the top of the pizza box to place your food in it!
12. Use a skewer, with one end taped to the edge of the flap, to prop open the flap. This way it will be adjustable to allow the maximum amount of sunlight to reflect into the window.
How does a solar cooker work?
The solar cooker uses natural sunlight to heat up the yummy s’mores! It works best when it can collect and concentrate the light to a specific area. The aluminum foil on the flap is reflecting the light onto the food, while the black construction paper helps absorb the heat produced from the light. To start “cooking,” the heat produced must be kept inside the box. The plastic wrap window acts as an insulator, and retains most of the heat inside the box. Some solar cookers are very effective, depending on the size of the box, and how many aluminum reflectors are present.
Thirsting for another solar cooker activity?
Check out EnergyQuest’s activity on the following site, and learn to build a solar hot dog cooker!