Although electricity is a common and basic necessity in our everyday lives, in developing parts of the world, like some areas of northern Africa, electricity is rare and sometimes inaccessible. Solar ovens allow third world countries with limited access to electricity to be able to cook food items. A solar oven is a device that uses direct heat as a source of energy. Solar cookers are a great alternative to wood burning fires for a multitude of different reasons.  One reason is that a solar cooker creates no pollution while a wood burning fire emits toxins and smoke into the atmosphere creating pollution which leads to global warming. Another important reason why a solar cooker is better for the environment is because it is a renewable energy source. Woodburning fires are not renewable and because of this deforestation happens and this causes destruction of animal habitats which is horrible for the environment because it offsets in the food chain.

The problem we are attempting to solve in this lab is; will adding heat strengthening materials to a solar cooker positively effect its heating ability? The independent variable in this lab is the design of the solar cooker. The dependent variable is the temperature of the cooker. The control variable is the solar cooker with no added materials (Coach’s Q’s design).In this lab, I hypothesize that if black paper, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap are added to the solar cooker then it will heat up faster because the black paper will attract heat while the aluminum foil reflects the heat into the cooker and the plastic wrap traps the heat inside.

Video of a solar cooker:

Here is an example of a solar cooker lab procedure that I did:

  1. Gather materials
  2. Cut out solar house template along black lines
  3. Stack black paper and aluminum foil and put template over them
  4. Trace template onto black paper/ aluminum foil
  5. Cut along line
  6. Tape back paper to one side of the template and aluminum to the other
  7. Fold inwards along dotted lines
  8. Cut out rectangle of plastic wrap (enough to cover opening) and tape to solar cooker
  9. Tape sides together and insert thermometer
  10. Place solar cooker under heat lamp
  11. Place model with no added materials under heat lamp
  12. Every 3 minutes record temperature of each model and compare results
  13. Collect data and record in table



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