S’mores are one of my favorite desserts, combine that with my background in science and naturally, I have been dying to make solar oven s’mores. Solely in the interest of science education of course. 😉
During our recent Greer adventure, my boys discovered their own love of s’mores and since I’ve been wanting to do more science-related projects at home with them, this really was a great fit for us.
It has been CRAZY hot lately, so we took advantage of the scorching sun this past weekend and made a solar oven. The best part is we already had all the supplies on hand at home. The base of the project was a couple of personal size pizza boxes I saved in my craft stash for just this project. The boys loved making and decorating their own personal solar ovens but a big pizza box would work too.
- Cardboard pizza box
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic wrap or bag
- Black construction paper
- Glue stick
- Pencil or wooden skewer
- Scissors or utility knife
- S’mores supplies: chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows
This project is fairly easy and older kids can do most of the steps themselves. Just have an adult use a craft knife or scissors to cut the solar oven door.
1) Cut the “oven door” flap on the box. The size depends on what you are cooking and how much access you need. Ours was large to maximize our s’mores capacity!
2) Decorate your solar oven. This is a fun *optional* step.
3) Glue black construction in the bottom of the box. The black color absorbs the heat.
4) Glue the inside of the door with aluminum foil. The foil reflects the sun into the oven.
5) Tape the plastic over the opening of the door. This will help keep the heat inside the box.
6) Add a graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate inside the oven.
6) Place your oven outside in the sun. I taped a wooden skewer to prop the lid open at an ideal angle.
The chocolate naturally started melting quickly. So our indicator was the marshmallows, we waited until they had puffed up from the heat. It took about 90 minutes to bake our s’mores. When making these in less extreme desert temperatures, we just waited until the chocolate melted.
This project was easy, a lot of fun and perfect for preschool through middle school. Older kids could design their own boxes, or conduct scientific trials by varying factors like the box size, oven door size, construction paper color, cooking time, outside temperature, etc. We talked about what was happening while we waited for the s’mores to bake.
Initial Discussion Points:
- The sun as a heat source
- The purpose of the black construction paper
- The purpose of the foil
- How various weather conditions would affect the result
Then we feasted on s’mores, pretty sure everyone can get behind that scientific result. 😉
Have you made a DIY solar oven before?
Post originally published August 15, 2012
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