Frosh Cook S’Mores with Nothing But the Heat from the Sun
by Audrey McClatchie
Within the science department, freshmen students are excited to be cooking up an experiment with the sun.
Their teacher, Erica Carbone has been instructing her students on heat, and their new project of creating solar ovens would test just that. “It’s to teach heat transfer. So, conduction, convection and radiation,” Carbone stated.
“I didn’t understand at first,” admitted freshman Josh Knupp. But once the students understood, they were eager to begin. “I thought it was gonna be pretty cool and interesting to see if it worked out,” added freshman Konner Swann.
Using cardboard boxes, plastic wrap and aluminum foil, the students began. But how does it work? Freshman Joy Frimpong explained, “The aluminum foil conducts heat from the radiation from the sun.”
Knupp added in, “we focused on catching sunlight and then using insulative materials to absorb heat and maintain the heat within the oven.”
“They had to research different ways, and figure out what was the best way to build their solar oven. They [also] had to draw their design and come up with a list of materials for me.” stated Carbone, watching her students progress with their designs.
“We had creative freedom to do whatever we wanted with this project,” said Knupp. Many kids, including Frimpong agreed, “You can make it really creative and different looking from everyone else.”
When it came time to test them out, their hard work paid off. “Most of the ovens worked really well,” explained Carbone, “It was kind of a cool day outside, but the sun was shining so it was a good test to see if their ovens really used the solar energy efficiently.”
The the result of their labors were very sweet: s’mores. “People have made eggs with it (solar ovens),” Frimpong said, “but we’re making s’mores, because s’mores are better than eggs.”
Because of the sunny day, the experiment came through. “The temperature heated to the point where it was able to cook the food, it was able to melt marshmallows and chocolate,” described Knupp.
The students agreed the project was quite fulfilling. “I learned about how you can create heat using conduction, convection and radiation,” affirmed Swann. “I like how we [got] to build things,” added freshman Zoe Wilson, “And we also [got] smores at the end.”
Carbone admitted, “This is my first time doing this project! I will definitely do it again.”
It was a fun and rewarding process creating the solar ovens, but as Knupp said, “It’s easier to use an electric oven.”