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Lesson Title: Build a Solar Oven
May 11, 2012

Unit: Engineering - Design Process

Grade Levels: 7-9

Connection To Curriculum: Experimental Design, Measuring, Graphing and Data Analysis

Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Lesson Time Needed: 1 hour

Complexity: Basic

Keywords: energy, solar radiation, data


General building supplies
Cardboard box
Aluminum pans
Aluminum foil
Black construction paper
One piece of Plexiglas large enough to cover the box
Sunshine OR gooseneck lamp with 100-Watt bulb
S'mores fixings (graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate)
Oven mitts
Imagine and Plan
Experiment and Record
Quality Assurance
Fun with Engineering at Home 

An engineering design challenge to design and build a solar box cooker, and test it out to see if it works well enough to make S'mores.

Students will:
• Engage in the engineering design process to complete a team challenge building a simple solar-powered oven.

First page of Build a Solar Oven

Lesson Guide
Build a Solar Oven Lesson
[92KB PDF file]



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Lesson Activities and Sequence

Build a Solar Oven

  1. Review the design process.
  2. Show the video "Living on the Moon".
  3. List the specification of the solar oven challenge.
  4. Build the ovens.
  5. Create data charts.
  6. Share data and reports.
  7. Eat S'mores.

Keywords: energy, solar radiation, data


National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
Earth and Space Science
• Energy in the earth systems.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Natural resources.
• Science and technology in local, national and global challenges.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Ratios and Proportional Relationships
• Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
• Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area and volume.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
Research and Information Fluency
• Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
• Process data and report results.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.


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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator