Solar Oven (Part 2/2)
Lesson 12 of 12
Objective: SWBAT analyze the effectives of a solar oven to cook food.
Does My Solar Oven Keep In Heat?
See Day#1 Lesson Solar Oven (Part 1/2) to understand this Solar Oven Challenge. Day #2 is an opportunity for my students to test their model.
This lesson is important for a variety of reasons:
- energy from the Sun is Free!
- solar energy is good for the environment.
- it is a more healthy way of preparing foods.
- cooking with a solar oven preserves more of the natural nutrients in food.
First, I ask my students to set up their model of a solar oven. Then, I want students to assess their model by answering (these questions are found on the Solar Oven Challenge):
- Describe how your solar oven works.
- How can you improve your solar oven?
- Which parts heated the solar oven?
- How did you keep the heat inside the solar oven?
- Predict the outcome if it is not a sunny day.
When students, working in collaborative groups, analyze, discuss, and write about these questions (SP#1), they get a deeper understanding of the content.
To test the model (SP#2) of a solar oven, students use graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate squares to make a s'more. Students (SP#3) carry out their investigation by setting up their solar oven, lamp, and s'more. A lamp was used in the classroom with the solar oven due to the number of students and time constraints to warm the oven and cook the food.
As the s'more is cooking in the solar oven, student groups work on discussing, answering, and (SP#8) communicating their thoughts. This time gives students an opportunity to collaborate on the questions, discuss their oven design, and decide how they could modify their oven to get different results. Students reflect on: the (CCC#2) cause and effect of the sun's energy, how (CCC#5) energy flows from the sun, and how the (CCC#6) shape (structure) and materials used for the solar oven relate to its effectiveness.
Now, let's write a conclusion. As with any learning experience, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but that ok. This provides opportunity to discuss what went right, what went wrong, and changes that could be made to the learning experience. This step is very important for students to "come full circle."
I have learned that you need to take students back to the questions so they can think about the process.
How does the Earth, Sun, and Moon affect my life?
Does my solar oven keep in heat?
Take 2-3 minutes for students to process these questions and write (SP#8) a conclusion. I give them a sentence starter because it adds rigor to their writing and helps with the process, for example: I learned that . . .because. . . Take 5 minutes to share answers with the class so students can hear other student thoughts. To increase the rigor and accountability of the class conversation, I encourage students to use Discussion Moves. These are sentence frames which help a student process their thoughts to engage in the discussion. I stand in the room and facilitate as students (SP#8) engage in discussions with scientific peers.
Some possible conclusions students could write include:
- I learned that you need to keep the heat in because otherwise the heat will escape and not cook the food.
- I learned that I need a door to keep in heat because if there was no door the heat would escape and the food will not cook.