How to Make a Solar Energy Cooker

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Teach your children about using renewable energy and helping the planet all while having a fun time and cooking dinner. Make a solar energy cooker and demonstrate to your children how much energy the sun produces. You can use simple materials that you probably already have at home to build the cooker. Set it in an outdoor spot that receives plenty of sunlight, and use it to cook simple foods, such as hotdogs, English muffin pizzas or to boil water.

Step 1

Line the inside sides and bottom of the box with aluminum foil. Glue the foil to the box. Glue a piece of black construction paper to the bottom of the box so that it absorbs heat from the sun.

Step 2

Cut a flap out of the lid with the scissors or razor knife, about an inch or two away from the edges. You want to the flap to remain attached to the lid, so only cut it on three sides. Pull the flap up after cutting.

Step 3

Glue a piece of aluminum foil to the inside of the cut flap. Make sure the shiny side is out. This will reflect the sun back into the oven.

Step 4

Position the plexiglass over the opening on the inside of the lid. You may want to tape it in place. If using plastic wrap, pull it tightly over the opening. Make sure there are no gaps or openings in the plastic wrap.

Step 5

Tape a piece of string to the top of the lid flap. Push the push pin into the back of the lid, near the bottom edge. Wrap the string around the push pin to hold the flap up. You can adjust the angle of the flap by pulling the string tightly or giving it slack.

Step 6

Set the cooker outside in a sunny spot. Place the thermometer in it along with the food you are cooking. If you are boiling water, make sure the pot has a lid so that the steam doesn’t collect on the plastic. Adjust the flap so that the sun reflects into the cooker as much as possible. Use the thermometer to monitor the temperature in the cooker.

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