Going green can be tasty! Did you know that you can make s’mores in a solar oven? That was the experiment we did this week at the library. Here are instructions so you can try this at home. Please note that this project requires the use of sharp tools and high temperatures, so grab a grown-up and take precautions. Let’s get started!

Supplies Needed for the Solar Oven:

  • Personal-sized pizza box
  • Saran wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Black paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors or box cutter

Supplies Needed to Make S’mores:

  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate
  • Pencil or ruler
  • Clear glass or plastic plate (optional)

Weight your solar oven down if it is windy outside

To build the solar oven:

Use scissors or a box cutter to cut a large flap in the lid of the pizza box, cutting along three sides about an inch away from the edge of the box. Securely tape saran wrap over the hole created by cutting the flap, fashioning a window down into the interior of the oven. Cover the interior side of the flap and line the entire inside of the pizza box with aluminum foil. Place a piece of black paper in the bottom of the pizza box. 

To make s’mores:

Assemble your uncooked s’more and place inside the oven. You can set the s’more directly on the black paper, or put it on the clear plate. Placing it on a plate will help keep the inside of your solar oven clean from messy melting chocolate. Close the lid of the pizza box, making sure your s’more is positioned in the center of the window. Use a ruler or a pencil to prop the flap up if necessary, so it can reflect light down through the saran-wrapped window. Place the solar oven somewhere sunny and if it's windy outside, make sure you weight your oven down so it doesn't blow away. Wait for it to bake until your desired amount of melty gooeyness and then enjoy!

Other ideas for experimenting:

You could try making a solar oven with a large pizza box or try to make your oven even more efficient by researching and implementing different heating methods, such as insulation. Consider using a timer to see how quickly the s’more melts inside the oven.  You can try comparing the melting times of a s’more inside the oven to a s’more outside it. You could also place thermometers both inside and outside the oven to compare the temperatures. Try baking different things in your oven. Maybe nachos? Toast? A quesadilla? Possibly pizza? The ideas are endless!  

More information:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sunny-science-build-a-pizza-box-solar-oven/

https://www.homesciencetools.com/a/build-a-solar-oven-project

 

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