Program Highlights

In science the students are studying the scientific method. Our upper elementary students asked a question “Can the sun really bake something?” Here is how they decided to find out.

QUESTION: In our science class, we learned about people using the sun’s power to bake things in solar ovens. Could we get this to work?

MATERIALS: Cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, cinnamon rolls, clear plastic film, tape, and lots of sunshine!

PROCEDURE: Cut a window in the box, then line the box with foil. Put plastic film over the window to keep out bugs and dirt, but still let in the sunshine.

Making a solar oven.

Put a raw cinnamon roll in the box. Set the box out somewhere where it will get sun all day!

Setting up solar ovens

HYPOTHESIS: Actually, we had several….One student thought it would work, one thought it would not, one thought that squirrels would break into the boxes and eat the project!

OBSERVATIONS: March 1, 2018

8:45 AM The dough was pretty gooey when we started. The day was clear and sunny. Hopes were high as we set out the ovens.

11:45 AM The wind has picked up and has blown over our ovens. We repositioned them and taped them in place.

2:45 PM The cinnamon rolls are drier on the edges, but still gooey in the middle. The sun had not cooked them adequately!

3 PM We finished cooking the cinnamon rolls in a toaster oven. Fifteen minutes in there did what the sun could not accomplish in five hours!

The biscuits are in the ovens.

CONCLUSIONS:

1. Solar ovens in Colorado need to be weighted to withstand Colorado breezes!

2. The winter sun is not strong enough to bake biscuits in a solar oven in Colorado.

FOLLOW-UP IDEAS:

Let’s try it again in late Spring!