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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 3, 2004 - Issue 116


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Make a Solar Oven


The Sun is the greatest source of energy on planet Earth. It gives off energy in the form of heat and light. Solar panels are special panels that can soak up the solar energy and change it into electricity. Here's a project that uses solar energy to do some cooking!

What You Need:

How To Make It

  • a shoebox without a top
  • black construction paper
  • plastic wrap
  • foil
  • 2 microwave-proof cups (ceramic or plastic)
  • water
  • a regular thermometer
  • tape
  • scissors
  1. Cut off one of the long sides of the shoebox.
  2. Now cut the two short sides in half at an angle so that you're left with a right triangle at each end.
  3. Line the bottom of the box with the black construction paper.
  4. Line all the remaining sides of the box with the foil.
  5. Make a cover with the plastic wrap and tape it down, leaving one corner not taped so you can lift it open.
  6. Put your solar oven in the sunniest place you can find.
  7. Fill the cups with warm water.
  8. Put one cup inside the solar oven, and put one cup just outside the solar oven.
  9. Wait 30 minutes and use the thermometer to test the water in each cup. Which one is warmer?

What Happened?
The cup of water in your solar panel is warmer. This is because the black paper absorbs all the light's energy, and the foil directs more of the sunlight to the cup inside than the cup sitting outside. Also, the plastic wrap collects the sun's energy. Outside, without any substances acting as "transmitters," the energy spreads out in all directions so it's not as strong.

Now try cooking. Fill another cup with water and put in an instant teabag. If it's really sunny, you should have tea in about 15 minutes. You can make instant rice in about 30 minutes. What else can you make?

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 of Vicki Barry and Paul Barry.


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