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Solar Cookers for Learning about Materials, Energy, Sensing, and Society 2016 07 16 AAPT W45

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:33 am
by shawn
Workshop description as it appears in catalog
Sacramento is the home of Solar Cookers International, a longstanding research and advocacy organization that has been disseminating designs and practices for solar cooking. is a network of educators interested in energy production and use, started by physics teachers. Workshop participants will learn about how SCI researches and teaches about solar cookers and how educators from have been teaching physics with the cookers. Participants will build a cooker, use electronic sensors, cook something in the sun, and take the cookers and sensors home. Activities and concepts will include data-logging, digital and analog, automatic and manual; selective materials, examined in multiple wavelengths; infrared thermography; heat capacity; power; engineering design; pasteurization; replacing cooking fuels; diverse cooking methods for diverse situations; curriculum scope and sequence; and attitudes about women’s work and about engineering to 'save the world.'
Shawn Reeves

Code: Select all

1. Introductions
2. Expectations
    1. Designs
    2. Questions
    3. Cooking
    4. Documentation
3. Everyone draw or write instructions for a solar cooker.
4. SCI
    1. Materials
    2. SCI’s work around the world
    3. Joining SCI
5. ETO
    1. Scope of ETO’s work
    2. Ways to get involved with ETO
6. Materials
    1. Reflector
    2. Transmitter
    3. Insulator
7. Infrared and visible light
8. Design
    1. Concentration
        1. How to estimate power of concentration—Reverse the light path—Be the sun, and see how many reflections of the target you can see from far in front, the perspective of the sun. Show a photo taken from the front.
    2. Classifications
        1. Panel
        2. Box
        3. Parabolic
        4. Lens
        5. Oven
        6. Jar
        7. Bag
    3. Insulation
    4. Wind
    5. Portability
    6. Tracking
        1. Solar electric tracking
        2. Solar hydraulic tracking
        3. Leading the sun manually
        4. Understanding the sun’s path—See sun’s path activity.
9. Power
    1. Power in, power out, net cooking power
    2. Different power designs for different recipes
    3. Modes of energy transfer
    4. Practice analyzing temperature and time graphs to determine power.
    5. Terminal maximum temperature, power equilibrium.
10. Measuring temperature
    1. Temperature history device: WAPI
    2. IR camera
    3. IR camera/thermometer limited by IR-blocking enclosure.
    4. Thermocouples
    5. Oven thermometer
11. Cooking as a medium for learning physics
    1. Women’s work
    2. Food to enjoy
    3. Place in scope and sequence
        1. Relevant physical concepts. e.g., temperature, electromagnetic spectrum, power, energy, forms of energy, reflection, path of light,
    4. Questions to test understanding: e.g. How might you change sunoven to act as a cooler? What should the color of the inside of an oven be?
    5. Necessary research

Re: Solar Cookers for Learning about Materials, Energy, Sensing, and Society 2016 07 16 AAPT W45

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:45 pm
by shawn
Solar Cookers International wants you to know that there is a product of a curriculum working group that should be a good resource for you in using cookers to learn:
Want to know how to inspire and educate the next generation of solar cookers? Expert science teacher Mary Buchenic will explain how solar cooking can be taught across disciplines and to meet curriculum standards. Learn how to teach 1500 children and their families about solar cooking, just like Mary has done. To purchase access to the webinar recording of Cross-Curricular Solar Cooker Lessons, please email [at-symbol] .
Visit and to learn more.
Sign up to receive our free digital newsletter, the SCI Digest at

Temperature over time, rice cooker

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:56 pm
by shawn
Here's the output from our HOBO temperature datalogger which was sitting in our rice in the black enameled covered steel pan, on a stand, in a roasting bag, inside the panel cooker.
You can see we set the pan to cook at 11:06, we reached pasteurization temperature at about 11:12, and were approaching boiling by 11:30, and we ate right at noon.
From the slope at the beginning of the graph and the heat capacity of the food (approx 500ml water), you should be able to calculate the power of the light being reflected onto the pot. You might ask your students whether that initial slope would be more or less if there were no clear plastic bag around the pot.