SOLAR COOKER EDUCATION
​IN THE CLASSROOM

GDS creates, organizes, and shares educational resources for our stakeholders.
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Next Generation Science Standards Here

Next Generation Science Standards
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The use of solar thermal cookers as teaching tools in our schools ​​
has the potential to advance the use of this amazing technology in communities everywhere.

The following content is organized into three categories:
Videos/Interactives/Powerpointd
Activities & Experiments
Lesson Plans
Suggested levels are listed, but remember that most materials can be adjusted by the teacher for the appropriate level of complexity.

LEVELS :  PRIMARY,  INTERMEDIATE,  SECONDARY,  ALL


Oven Patterns 

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Videos, Interactives & Powerpoint Presentations

  1. POWERPOINT - Understanding Solar Cooking, History, Application
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: Mary Buchenic Understanding Solar Cooking, Its History, and Application for Today's World.
  2. POWERPOINT - DARE to Cook with Sunshine
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE TO SECONDARY SOURCE: The Solar Sisters Understand process of solar cooking with DARE. Types of solar cookers are introduced with photos and videos. Reasons for solar cooking are discussed. Careers in solar energy are explored.
  3. POWERPOINT - Solar Cookers - Effective Tools for 3-D Learning
    LEVEL: ALL SOURCE: Mary Buchenic (The Solar Sisters, GDS), Penny Schleith (Florida Solar Energy Center) Penny Hall (Florida Solar Energy Center) Powerpoint is from a presentation at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference in Atlanta, GA in March, 2018
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  7. INTERACTIVE - parabolic design
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: Education Services Australia Interactive Simulation for design and alignment of Parabolic Solar Cooker.
  8. VIDEO - Solar Sisters Cook an Egg Souffle in Copenhagen Class Kit
    LEVEL: ALL SOURCE: The Solar Sisters Copenhagen Kit for the Classroom Once your students have created their Copenhagen solar ovens, try cooking something simple such as this egg souffle. Watch this cute little recipe video to see how!
  9. VIDEO - Solar Cooking National Geographic
    LEVEL: ALL SOURCE: National Geographic YouTube Watch this short video introduction to solar cooking and its benefit worldwide. Dr. Bob Metcalf discusses pasteurization of water and solar cookers as an alternative to wood and charcoal.
  10. VIDEO - Solar Cooking for 100,000
    LEVEL: All SOURCE: CNN YouTube CNN International reports on the use of Scheffler Solar Parabolic Reflectors to supply energy to the kitchen at the Prasadalaya of Shirdi, India where thousands of people are fed daily. Deepak Gadhia discusses how the reflectors work and benefits.
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Activities & Experiments

  1. EXPERIMENT - Direct and Focus Light
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: The Solar Sisters' Solar Express Suitcase Help students understand how focusing light onto a material in a confined space can raise the temperature within that space, especially if the material is a good conductor.
  2. EXPERIMENT - Absorption Black and White
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: The Solar Sisters' Solar Suitcase Express Simple experiment to help students understand how the color black absorbs light waves and results in increase in temperature.
  3. EXPERIMENT - Colors Effect on Heating by Absorption of Light
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: Science Buddies Science Buddies web page offers experiment titled How Does Color Affect Heating by Absorption of Light? The goal of this project is to see how the color of an object affects how much heat it absorbs when exposed to incandescent light.
  4. EXPERIMENT - Statue Time
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: Energy Whiz - Florida Solar Energy Students understand position of sun and earth by tracking and drawing shadows each hour. See how shadow relates to position of sun.
  5. EXPERIMENT - Paper Plate Sundial
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: Energy Whiz - Florida Solar Energy and Dr. David P. Stern, "From Stargazers to Starships." Students create a paper plate sundial to track the sun's relationship to earth. Extended activities direct students to make a complete sundial for telling time.
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LESSON  IDEAS

  1. LESSON: The Sun and its Energy
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: NEED Project Hands-on investigations and language arts activities that introduce primary students to basic concepts of solar energy, and how solar energy can power the water cycle, produce wind, and create heat and electricity. (60 pages - requires supplies.)
  2. LESSON - Making a Solar Oven
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy Includes basic introduction, simple directions for making and using oven, and reproducible oven pattern
  3. LESSON- The Science Behind Solar Cookers
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: One Earth Designs Parabolic solar cookers are cooking devices that harvest sunlight, one of the most abundant and sustainable energy sources, to cook. Here we discuss the science and environmental effects of a solar cooker through hands-on activities
  4. LESSON: Engineering Design Challenge: Polar Cooking - winter
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE TO SECONDARY SOURCE: GDSnonprofit -The Solar Sisters Project Use this winter time engineering design challenge to introduce your solar cooking unit of study. Students research, design and construct solar cookers using the Statement and Specifications of the Engineering Design Challenge to guide them.
  5. LESSON: Engineering Design Challenge: Disaster Preparedness and Relief
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE TO SECONDARY SOURCE: GDSnonprofit -The Solar Sisters Project Use this relevant engineering design challenge to introduce your solar cooking unit of study. Students research, design and construct solar cookers using the Statement and Specifications of the Engineering Design Challenge to guide them.
  6. LESSON: Solar Energy Fun Powered by the Sun
    LEVEL: PRIMARY TO INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: Kathy Bellinghieri & Leslie Gonzalez, The Education Fund A five to seven day hands-on collaborative lesson to celebrate Earth Day. The primary objective is to have the students explore and understand solar energy through highly engaging activities.  
  7. ACTIVITY: Reflection of Light Rays
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE TO SECONDARY SOURCE: University of Virginia Physics Dept. Use mirrors to discover the physics of light reflection in a hands-on manner. Pdf Includes directions with pictures for five different activities.
  8. LESSON: Solar Oven Design Brief
    LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE TO SECONDARY SOURCE: Arrow Park Early College High School, Las Cruces, NM (Multiple Authors) Use the Engineering Design Process to solve a problem identified through a short story. Students design an oven that can boil water.
  9. LESSON & RESEARCH - Introduce Solar Cooking to Bedouin
    LEVEL: SECONDARY SOURCE: Hezi Yizhaq, Daniel Feuermann Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research Students learn physics through solar cooking and then share their knowledge with teachers and young students in Bedouin community.
  10. LESSON - Project Oriented Physics Education Through Solar Cooking
    LEVEL: SECONDARY SOURCE: Hezi Yizhaq, Daniel Feuermann Sde Boker Environmental High School Learn about solar cookers through an emphasis on the subjects of physics and mathematics and also including science and humanities.
  11. LESSONS - Solar Cooking Lessons - Design and Oven for S'mores
    LEVEL: PRIMARY to INTERMEDIATE SOURCE: Alison Davis and Solar Cookers International Alison shares lessons and photos of basic engineering approach for a solar cooker designed to make s'mores. Included are photos of the lesson results.
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Lessons from Florida Solar Energy Center (grades K -12)

  1. LESSON: Sun and Shade
    LEVEL: K - 2 and 3 - 5 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students predict the temperature in the sun and the shade and test their predictions with various simple activities.
  2. LESSON: Solar Energy and Color
    LEVEL: K - 2 and 3 - 5 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students experiment with the effect color has on solar thermal absorption.
  3. LESSON: Rain Machine
    LEVEL: K - 2 and 3 - 5 and 6 - 8 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Activity helps students understand how water can be purified through evaporation and condensation.
  4. LESSON: What's Cooking
    LEVEL: K - 2 and 3 - 5 and 6 - 8 and 9 - 12 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students are introduced to solar cooking through discussion and demonstration. At higher LEVELS, students construct ovens.
  5. LESSON: What's Cooking 2
    LEVEL: K - 2 and 3 - 5 and 6 - 8 and 9 - 12 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students are introduced to solar cooking through discussion and demonstration. At higher LEVELS, students construct ovens.
  6. LESSON: What's Cooking 3
    LEVEL: 9 - 12 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students research, design and construct ovens for use as cookers.
  7. LESSON: Insulation
    LEVEL: 3 - 5 and 6 - 8 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students conduct experiment to test insulating materials and understand how they decrease heat transfer.
  8. LESSON: Solar Still
    LEVEL: 3 - 5 and 6 - 8 and 9 - 12 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students conduct experiment to understand how solar energy can be used to desalinate water.
  9. LESSON: We're in Hot Water Now
    LEVEL: 6 - 8 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students construct a simple solar thermal water heating system and analyze its performance.
  10. LESSON: Hot or Not
    LEVEL: 6 - 8 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students learn about radiation, convection and conduction with this experiment. Solar heat gain is calculated in BTUs.
  11. LESSON: Survival Still
    LEVEL: 9 - 12 SOURCE: Florida Solar Energy Center Students construct a solar still to extract water from soil using solar energy.
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6 - 8 Version
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K - 2 Version
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9 - 12 Version
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6 - 8 Version
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3 - 5 Version
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6 - 8 Version
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9 - 12 Version
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