Students peer into their solar ovens

When it comes to s’mores, who needs a campfire when you’ve got science!

Earlier this month, fifth graders in Ms. Ashley Morrow’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) class cooked the gooey, delicious treats inside “solar ovens” made of cereal boxes. Though the approaching hurricane forced the activity indoors, excited kids watched with wonder as lamps melted the chocolate and marshmallows using the power of convective, conductive, and radiative heat transfer.
“I didn’t know that radiation can reflect off things,” said Horacio, a fifth grader. “We used aluminum foil to reflect the heat onto our s’mores.”
“We learned about what the sun does and how we can use it and capture it to help us with our life,” added Caleb, another student. “And the s’mores were really good.”
As Ms. Morrow explained, the ovens consisted of cereal boxes with flaps cut out on one of the broad sides. Students propped up the flaps with straws, coated the flaps and the box interiors with aluminum foil, and covered the holes left by the flaps with cling wrap. The solar ovens project, like others in BCS STEM and STEAM classrooms, gave students a hands-on, collaborative way to test and explore classroom concepts.
“In addition to some deep science learning, this class teaches soft skills like working together and following directions,” Ms. Morrow said. “I am very much a facilitator, and they are the ones producing and creating. And that’s what’s going to happen out in the real world.”
BCS STEM Labs teach children to creatively solve STEM challenges by using the Engineering Design Process to "Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve." Learn more at

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