Saved by the Sun

This activity features video segments from a 2007 PBS program on solar energy. Students follow a seven-step invention process to design, build, and test a solar cooker that will pasteurize water. In addition, they are asked to describe how transmission, absorption, and reflection are used in a solar cooker to heat water and to evaluate what variables contribute to a successful cooker.

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Jeff Lockwood
NOVA Teachers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Given the nature and preparation of students, this activity can be a totally inquiry-driven investigation or the instructor can guide students toward a successful design.

Schedule the activity for a time when the sun is fairly high in the sky, such as early fall or mid- to late spring, particularly if you are in a temperate climate above 35 degrees N latitude.

Use of the associated NOVA video is not required/necessary for activity, but provides a wider context for solar energy.

Literacy and Resources

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