gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Green Engineers Design Solar Ovens

on May 19, 2014

Third grade students used information from data collected in class to make the best decisions about insulation material to use in their solar oven.  Students were aware that certain materials had a lower impact on the environment and should be considered in deciding how to insulate their ovens.  One of our students filled here box with pine cones, needles, crushed seeds, and sand to create more air pockets for insulation.  Foam might be have a larger impact on the environment, but if we can reuse items made of foam, we are creating a lower impact on the environment.  Students really understood the value of reusing in this project.   It’s great project to encourage green engineers for our future.

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2 responses to “Green Engineers Design Solar Ovens

  1. mshcgm says:

    Love your project. Would you mind sharing how they collected the data to make the informed decisions about insulation?

  2. ddelduca5 says:

    You can look at my other blog entry
    https://gatorscience.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/finding-good-insulators-for-our-solar-ovens/

    this project is from EIE engineering – here is a link
    http://www.eie.org/eie-curriculum/resources/how-create-materials-cups-testing

    I made a water bath and placed different materials in cup (flat and shredded) I took the original temperature and took the temperature every 30 seconds for 3 minutes. We recorded a change of temperature. The smaller the change in temperature, the better the insulator.

    A great demonstration that works equally as well is to take four different containers of ice water.

    styrofoam, metal (can), plastic, special plastic with layer of air (like people use for coffe or hot and cold drinks)

    which FEELs colder? (metal and plastic without air)
    measure temp (the same) why?
    see which containers have more ice cubes aftern 10-15 minutes. The better insulators will have ice, while the conductors (metal and plastic) will have less ice.

    heat travels from warm to cold – some materials are better at transfering heat ( like conductors) Insulators do not transfer heat very well

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