Pizza Box Solar Oven

solar oven
Photo Source: Simon Fraser University

If you're interested in cooking and alternative sources of energy {oh yeah, and yummy treats!}, this project designed by the New Mexico Solar Energy Association(NMSEA) is a perfect combination!

Project Overview

In this experiment, you will create your own pizza box solar oven explore {and observe!} several concepts relating to passive solar energy...

  • How sunlight can be used as a source of energy - both as a direct heat source and through reflection
  • How dark surfaces absorb and contain the energy from sunlight
  • How heat from the sun can be trapped and used to create an insulating effect

Pizza Box Solar Oven

To create the oven, you'll need a large pizza box, aluminum foil, black construction paper, clear plastic wrap, masking tape, and string. For a complete supply list and detailed directions, be sure to visit the full article at NMSEA. Here are several videos that will also help you create your own oven:

[NOTE: These directions may vary from those provided by NMSEA!]

After creating the device, test it by cooking something small {like a hot dog!}. Remember that it takes a lot of energy to cook food and it will take even longer when attempting to harness solar energy. Also, it is important to remember that the position of the sun changes throughout the day, making it necessary to change the positioning of your pizza box oven as well. As you get the hang of it, work your way up to a batch of cookies or something equally tasty to share with your science fair visitors!