In this activity, students use various materials to focus the sun's rays in a solar oven and make solar s'mores!
In North America, we use electricity or gas to cook our food, however, over half the world's population uses wood or animal dung to cook. In fact, every year, almost 2 billion tones of wood is burned in cooking fires, releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
In the eighteenth century, Europeans discovered how to boil water by trapping the sun's energy as heat behind glass—a solar oven! The glass allows the sun's rays enter the oven. The rays are converted to heat energy and the glass prevents the heat from leaving.
Have you ever noticed how hot cars get when they are parked in the sun? Solar ovens can get very hot so be careful!