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SolSource first use post!

by James
(Shelbyville, Ky. USA)

SolSource just arrived

SolSource just arrived

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 Standards (NGSS) and I have been looking for a way to build excitement in my classes for the content that we will be covering.

Around the same time that I was developing units on reducing human impacts on the environment, I came across the SolSource parabolic cooker. There were several things about the SolSource cooker that caught my attention.

1.) The stated intent of the stove was to increase the standard of living for low income families in the Himalayas while significantly reducing their impact on the environment.

2.) The design process that the team went through was clearly explained, which helps me provide students with a successful model of continuing through failure until they reach success.

3.) Similar to this site, they have a blog where they post helpful information for those that are wanting to learn more. This was where I discovered that they had posted a mini-lesson where students will create their own solar cooker.

This was the hook that I was looking for, because for my content to STICK in their minds, I needed something hands-on that they could work towards.

My blog entries will consist mainly of lessons that I've learned in regards to solar cooking and my process towards developing educational lessons for my students.

For this first post, I've included my initial un-boxing, and my first meal cooked on the SolSource. For the foodies out there, this entry will be completely lackluster. It was Labor Day, and we had really spotty sun conditions.

In the pictures, you won't see as much overcast, but that is only because I would run out and try to cook something every 20 minutes or so when the clouds blew over.

**Lesson #1**
Solar cooking with a parabolic cooker is possible on a cloudy day, just much more difficult. If you have a cast iron or cast aluminum pan like the one that is offered with the SolSource, the pan will hold heat in between clouds.

I would not advise cooking a lot of meat on your first try with a solar cooker if there are clouds present, but that might just be due to my inexperience with cooking overall!

I look forward to growing as an educator, a cook, and an environmentally conscious individual. I hope YOU get to enjoy the process as well through these updates!

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