Can you use the power of the sun without using solar cells? You bet! We’re going to focus the incoming light down into a heat-absorbing box that will actually cook your food for you.
Remember from Unit 9 how we learned about photons (packets of light)? Sunlight at the Earth’s surface is mostly in the visible and near-infrared (IR) part of the spectrum, with a small part in the near-ultraviolet (UV). The UV light has more energy than the IR, although it’s the IR that you feel as heat.
We’re going to use both to bake cookies in our homemade solar oven. There are two different designs – one uses a pizza box and the other is more like a light funnel. Which one works best for you?
- Two large sheets of poster board (black is best)
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic wrap
- Black construction paper
- Cardboard box
- Pizza box (clean!)
- Tape & scissors
- Reusable plastic baggies
- Cookie dough (your favorite)