Making a Solar Oven

Making A Solar Oven

By: Ashley Neybert


· 1 Shoe box with lid or pizza box

· Glue stick

· Aluminum foil

· See through saran wrap

· Talking LabQuest

· Temperature sensor

· Marshmallows

· Exacto knife or scissors

· Adult supervision

· A hot sunny day

· Optional: umbrella for shade as needed


1. Have an adult help you cut a rectangle out of the top of the box lid. It should be at least 2 inches by 6 inches long. This will be the “window” to your oven.

2. Have an adult cut a small circular hole in the side to stick the LabQuest sensor into. Some boxes already have a circle cut into the side so if your box already has one you can skip this step.

3. Use your glue stick to glue the saran wrap over the rectangular hole. This works best if you glue it to the inside of the box lid. Try to keep it as flat as possible!

4. Line the inside of your box with aluminum foil covering as much of the bottom and sides as possible. You may either glue it in or just place it so it stays by folding it over the sides.

5. Bring your marshmallows, Talking LabQuest with temperature sensor, and your box outside to a sunny location.

6. Once you have found a nice location, turn on your Talking LabQuest and stick the temperature sensor into the circular side hole getting the sensor as close to the center of the box as possible.

7. Turn on your Talking LabQuest and enter the LabQuest Application.

8. Hit F10 and hit the right arrow once to get to the sensors menu and hit enter.

9. Hit the down arrow once to get to the data collection menu and hit enter.

10. Hit the tab key and change the rate to 20, then hit tab twice and change the duration to 1, and then tab again to change to hours using the drop-down menu.

11. Hit tab until you hear ok then press enter.

12. You are now ready to collect data and to start making your tasty treat!

13. Press F3 on your Talking LabQuest to start data collection and then put your marshmallows near the center of the box close to your temperature sensor so both are underneath the saran wrap “window” you may quickly check this by opening the box lid and checking with your hand as long as the LabQuest is not reading too hot of a temperature.

14. Your marshmallow should take between 30 minutes to an hour to cook depending on your preference, but you should check on it often to make sure it is still in the sun and you may open the lid occasionally to check on how cooked it is. CAUTION: whenever you check on the

marshmallow by touch ALWAYS check the LabQuest temperature 1st to make sure you won’t burn your hand. If it is too hot then you should open the oven lid and place it in the shade until it cools down enough to touch. If you don’t want to move your setup holding an open umbrella over your open oven will help to cool it down.

15. Once your marshmallow is cooked to your satisfaction, press F3 on the LabQuest to stop data collection and bring your setup inside to cool to a safe temperature and eat your treat while looking over your results!

Follow up questions:

1. What, if anything, do you think would’ve changed if you made your “window” hole bigger?

2. Why do you think it was important to keep the saran wrap flat?

3. Why did we use aluminum foil?

4. How do you think you could improve the design? Write it down and test it for yourself!

5. Listen to the sonification of the data on your Talking LabQuest. When was it hottest in the oven? When was it coldest? What factors do you think could’ve affected this?