Solar Cooking Kentucky Science Teacher

Hi, I'm James Wampler, the Solar Cooking Kentucky Science Teacher.

I am a middle school science teacher in Shelbyville, Ky. Working with solar cookers is part of a larger plan to investigate practical and thoughtful ways to use engineering to reduce human impacts on the environment. Understanding Human Impacts is a big part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and I would like to be able to build a knowledge base of my own so that I can speak from experience when I teach.

Because some of the best learning occurs through projects, I am also using the solar cooker at school to build support and interest among the staff so that every subject can be integrated into a “end-of-the-year reduction of human impacts” project.



Welcome to my "Solar Cooking Kentucky Science Teacher" page here at Cantinawest. Hope to teach you a lot about solar cooking.

Here is how I have used my Solar Cooker

How about YOU? What have you learned with your particular solar cooker(s) that makes you effective with it, and what advice and ideas would you share with others?

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Labor Day Solar Cooking 
This Labor Day, we were invited out to my brother's farm. It was nice to get away to plink some targets in the backyard while we waited for lunch to cook …

Solar Soccer Smores 
My JV soccer team had an away game last week, and we had another go at the solar soccer smores. I really like the concept of cooking something while …

Making friends in the Community 
I spoke with some individuals in the Solar Cookers International facebook group (a very active solar cooking group with great web resources(http://www.solarcookers.org/) …

ASSC Omelet 
Brunch at the park! My girlfriend and I took the All Season Solar Cooker to the park. We made an egg casserole/omelet. Quick and Easy! Eggs Milk Bread …

Solar Smores Part 2 
After the smores in the park the other day, I wondered if the smore dip could be made without packing up a solar cooker (it is hard to get more convenient …

Solar Smores 
I was out with my girlfriend at the park...the Solar Cooker came along. We made solar smores...or rather smore dip! The only ingredients that are required …

Cooking in the Park: Solar Saturdays 
I have just moved into an apartment that is immediately adjacent to one of the nicer parks in our area. There are mountain biking and hiking trails, tennis …

My yearbook 
As my students were preparing for finals, one asked if if I had a yearbook that they could sign. I did not, but my solar cooker was sitting out with some …

Success! 10 Ideas for next year: 
As said before, we really had to cram some things in to make the whole operation work last week, but we had our culminating activity with students baking …

Research and Design Part 2 
At the end of this week, we begin testing our designs. My plans for next year are to begin this much earlier. I thought that with the entire month of May, …

Research and Design 
Students began their G.R.I.L.L project with a little bit of Research, and ended with Design. G.R.I.L.L stands for Greenhouse Research Informing Lesson …

Unit Starts Tomorrow! 
I have been getting ready with my classroom DevGru to present our Solar Cooking unit to the rest of the class. We are connecting it to standards MS.ESS3.4 …

ASSC Part 2 Ready to cook! 
This week, I finished the All Season Solar Cooker. As said before, I like that you can build 2 from the plans...because I had a *few* learning areas on …

DevGru (develpment group) Work 
This week, my classroom development group (DevGru) started working on their stove designs. It was good to see what my eager students come up with in terms …

ASSC All Season Solar Cooker 
I'm getting pretty amped about getting this All Season Solar Cooker set up. I have bought the materials and spent time trying to get all of the points …

Copenhagen Mk III "Magneto" 
Maybe it is my camp director/childcare background, but I continue my search for the solar cooker that snaps together like a lego set. The way it is currently …

More cooking in the snow! 
Today I was unable to build the Copenhagen for part 2. I was out collecting materials when I came across a guy who's car was stuck in the snow! We spent …

Copenhagen pt 2 Magnets. Magnets everywhere! 
I finished the copenhagen in the classroom the other day, but I did not have any clips that would work to hold the reflective sheets together. I used magnets …

Cooking at 5 degrees. 
In Kentucky, we typically don't deal with snow incredibly well. We recently received 8 inches, which has been affectionately dubbed the "Snowpocalypse" …

Copenhagen pt 1 
A little late in the update, so I'll try to run another one on Friday with the Part 2! My Sunday update got shuffled under some other things - - I found …

Resources 
I spent this week talking to contacts from the "The Solar Cookers World Network" on facebook. What an awesome group of individuals! It is an open sharing …

Combining Concepts 
One of the standards that my students will be evaluated on is a NGSS Engineering Standard: "Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences …

Procurement, Materials, Safety... 
This week I met with school members to secure space for the student solar ovens. This is difficult to do, since space is always at a premium, and empty …

Solar Juicer Part 2 
After mid-terms, I went back to the leftover pieces from the "Sun Juicer". You can view its finished form in the pictures. As far as offering a model …

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Sun Juicer Part I 
I mentioned last week about a KickStarter solar cooker that I supported! It has arrived! I put together the solar concentrator today, and will be assembling …

Solar Cooker Research Begins 
Two weeks until winter break when I can begin my planning in earnest. This week I've been gathering resources to build my own ovens over the break. …

Cooking MEAT! FINALLY! 
After a few weeks of cooking pasta and vegetables, I ventured into cooking some meat this week. I typically don't consume very much meat, but when I do, …

Boil Experiment 
Today, we had clear blue skies and plenty of sun, so I decided to run a boil test. How quickly would this SolSource boil water? I spend a lot of time in …

Easy Egg Casserole at the Park Not rated yet
Today I tried building my "quick and easy" repertoire with an easy egg casserole. Ingredients: Eggs Milk Ham Bread Cheese Spice to taste (we …

Burgers on the Beach Not rated yet
With this being summer, I was able to take a week to go to the beach with some friends at Carolina Beach State Park in North Carolina. It was around …

First full Spring Day of Sun! Not rated yet
Spring Break started last week - I had a meeting with my classroom development students before we left to begin playing around with designs that we might …

Finding Parabolas in Everyday Life Not rated yet
This weekend I was at an ASCD conference in Houston, Tx. I was unable to do any solar cooking (as my solar cookers remained in Louisville, and I went to …

Sunny Day Results (Happy Belated Pi Day!) Not rated yet
This week I had some sun to do some baking on the roof outside my classroom window. This weekend was "Pi day" - Albert Einsteins birthday, so I had a belated …

Website Creation Not rated yet
This weekend, I spent a little time building the website for my class to visit as they are building their own solar ovens. The idea is to build a resource …

Side by Side Comparison Not rated yet
I had an opportunity this week to run the "Sun Juicer" side by side with the SolSource. It was a nice opportunity, because the Sun Juicer is a design …

Reflector for Evacuated tube Not rated yet
It has been a busy week with family in town (and the accompanying colds/flu that come from sharing close quarters with people during the holiday season!) …

Something seems fishy... Not rated yet
I had a few days off for Thanksgiving break - by days off, I mean planning lessons at home rather than at school, catching up on papers and turning in …

The Evolution of the Grilled Cheese Not rated yet
We had an unexpectedly beautiful sunny day this Saturday! The forecast called for mostly cloudy, but we experienced almost un-interrupted sunlight through …

This little piggy needed more sunscreen Not rated yet
This week I put pork chops on the solar cooker. Any trepidation I had about cooking meet on this cooker is long gone. As long as I have sun, meat will …

We didn't invent the Chicken Sandwich... Not rated yet
We had a great November day today in Louisville - a perfect time to pull out the Solar cooker and put it to work. Lunch today? Chicken Sandwiches! I …

Navigating cloud cover Not rated yet
Happy post-Halloween! Halloween marks the beginning of cloudy weather for the Louisville area. We still have sunny days, but November can be a cloudy …

Bacon up a little something special Not rated yet
Well, after a few attempts, Bacon made its debut on the solar cooker! After a lackluster performance on the camping trip, I brought the cooker out at …

Camping with the SolSource Not rated yet
This is our fall break, and camping is generally how I unwind! I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to test the SolSource in a different …

Solomelet Not rated yet
This week I went with a omelet - I have a series of camping trips coming up, and I thought I'd see how eggs cooked on this. Bacon might have to wait until …

Taco Tuesday Not rated yet
In my classroom, I stress collaboration as a foundational skill for successful navigation of the school environment. We are social creatures who are …

Cookies? Not rated yet
I have been asking friends for things they would like to see cooked on the solar cooker. One mentioned "Cookies" - - I wasn't really sure if I could …

SolSource Black Beans and Quinoa Not rated yet
Through all of the classes I taught on Friday, I frequently looked out the window at the beautiful fall weather rolling into Kentucky. Weather was just …

SolSource first use post! Not rated yet
Hello! My name is James Wampler, I am a Science teacher in Shelbyville, Ky. I have been developing units for my classes under the new Next Generation Science …

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