(Palm Springs, Florida, USA)
I am an aide at a private Elementary School, Grades Pre-K through 8th Grades. The class that I assist with is Grade 4, which consists of 9 and 10 year olds. This year we have the largest class yet which is 25 students.
For the past 10 years, one of our first projects that we give our students is to make a Homemade Solar Oven. I normally make one out of a Bankers Box and cover with Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil. When I bring the oven into the classroom, the students are so excited, they can't wait to use it. We tell the students that their homework assignment is to make their own Solar Ovens.
When the assignment is due, we get every shape and size oven. They are all unique in every way. The students are so proud of what they have made and can't wait to use it.
Every year, our first Solar Oven Project is Smores. We know that the students will love them because every student likes chocolate, right? Actually, we have had on several occasions where our students did not like chocolate, so we made theirs without the piece of chocolate. This definitely adds a different meaning and taste to the the name "smores".
Basically, all we do is take a paper plate, place Graham Crackers on the plate, leave them open face, put a piece of chocolate on the graham cracker and then a large marshmallow in the middle and put them in our Homemade Solar Ovens out in the sun.
Because we are in sunny south Florida, we definitely need to keep an eye on them, as the Florida Sun can be very hot and what ends up happening is that the chocolate starts running over the box. The students, of course, are willing to check them, every couple of minutes, if we allow them. We usually check them every ten minutes. If it is a real sunny day, these can be done in less than one hour.
When we bring them in, the comments are: Delicious, Never had anything like this, Can We Have Another?
This definitely is an easy project and very enjoyable.
Thank you Valerie,
I am always glad to see youth learning about something that can benefit them in a real and practical sense as well as open their minds to alternative, non traditional methods of doing things, such as cooking...especially when it is solar cooking.
We love solar cooking!
I wish you all the best in your teaching endeavors and in this contest as well.
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