Hello, we are two girls in Colorado and we built a solar oven for the science fair in 2001. We wanted to see if we could make a solar oven work at 40° N latitude, and also find out how well it would work at different times of the year.
We designed and built our own oven out of a cardboard box, styrofoam, aluminum foil, and other things we had around the house. We did have to buy a few things at the hardware store like the glass and hinges, but everything was cheap and easy to do. Our mom helped us do it all at home. We must have done a good job because our project was picked to go to the district science fair.
We tested out our oven by cooking an egg, mini blueberry muffins, and a small loaf of bread. We did this in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Our oven worked better than we expected. The egg cooked all year long, and the bread and muffins cooked all year long except in the winter, when they cooked on top but stayed mushy on the bottom.
One thing that surprised us was that our oven actually got hotter in the spring than in the summer. We are not sure why this is, but our Grampa suggested that maybe there was more humidity in the air in the summer, and our books said that humidity absorbs some of the sunlight. We didn't take humidity readings so we don't know this for sure.
We had a lot of fun doing this project and we learned a lot too. We decided to put up a web page about our project so that maybe someone else will do a similar project for their science fair or get some ideas from what we did. This page has a couple of our graphs and pictures of our oven and food on it, but if you want to know all about the project, you'll want to download a copy of our report. It is a 744K PDF file, so you can read it on any type of computer. You will need Acrobat Reader to read it (get it here if you don't already have it). Then click this link to download our report.
Thank you for visiting our web page, and happy solar cooking!
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visitor since 2/12/01.