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Easy STEM activity: How to make a solar oven with a shoe box


Solar oven with paper box.
Solar oven with paper box.



Welcome to Makersgeneration, your #1 STEM learning website.


As usual, we will be working on another exciting task which for today's post is a solar oven science project.


In a world where sustainability and self-reliance are gaining increasing importance, discovering alternative ways to cook food while reducing our carbon footprint has become a pressing concern. Amidst this quest for eco-friendly solutions, a humble shoebox can surprisingly transform into an invaluable tool—an essential solar oven that harnesses the power of the sun.


Additionally, the versatility of a solar oven with a shoebox extends beyond its environmental benefits. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast seeking a convenient cooking option during camping trips or just looking for an alternative cooking method during power outages, this DIY solar oven serves as a reliable solution. It offers a chance to embrace off-grid cooking while maintaining a connection with nature.


Keep reading to learn how to build a solar oven with household items!!



Materials needed


Materials
Materials

  1. Shoebox with a lid or cardboard box of similar size.

  2. Aluminum foil.

  3. Additional cardboard to serve as the lid (if you're using a cardboard box)

  4. Scissors.

  5. Cutting knife.

  6. Ruler.

  7. Clear plastic or a clear oven bag.

  8. Tape


Steps to make our Solar oven


Step 1

  • Take off the lid of the shoebox (if you are using a cardboard box - cut off the original box lid with scissors)

Cardboard box
Cardboard box


Step 2


Cover the inside of the box with aluminum foil.

foil in cardboard box
foil in cardboard box


Inside of the box completely covered with aluminum foil.
Inside of the box completely covered with aluminum foil.



Step 3


Now to the lid - (for those using cardboard box, use the extra cardboard reserved for the lid).


Measure a rectangle or square at the center of the lid and cut three sides and push the cut section outwards... as shown in the image below:


cut the oven's lid
cut the oven's lid


Step 4


Cover the square opening with transparent plastic (secure the plastic with glue or tape).


Opening on the lid covered with transparent plastic.
Opening on the lid covered with transparent plastic.



Step 5

Now, cover the cut-out section of the lid with aluminum foil.

Cut-out section of the lid covered with aluminum foil.
Cut-out section of the lid covered with aluminum foil.



Step 6


Place the lid on top of the box. (if you are working with a shoebox, the lid should fit nicely on the box).


foil lid open
foil lid open


Step 7


Support the cut-out section of the lid with tape or a pencil to keep it open.


Lid supported with tape.
Lid supported with tape.


Lid supported with pencil.
Lid supported with pencil.



Your solar oven is now ready for use!!!


Open the lid to place your food, close the lid and place your solar oven under the sun.
Open the lid to place your food, close the lid and place your solar oven under the sun.



How the solar oven works


A solar oven works by utilizing the sun's rays. The aluminum foil assists in reflecting, absorbing, distributing, and retaining heat within the solar oven, which is converted into heat energy. The transparent cover traps the heat, creating a greenhouse effect. The trapped heat gradually raises the temperature inside the oven. This elevated temperature allows for cooking or baking food placed inside the solar oven.


You can also add a dark material to the oven such as placing a black construction paper at the base of the box on top of the aluminum foil. This helps to absorb heat from the sunlight, contributing to its effectiveness in cooking food using solar energy.



Alright!! that will be all for this post.



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