STEM Challenge Solar Oven Project

Rated 4.9 out of 5, based on 230 reviews
230 Ratings
Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • Zip
20 + editable
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What educators are saying

Students absolutely loved this activity. We built the ovens and students got to enjoy eating the smores they cooked!
This was one of the coolest projects I have ever done. My students were obsessed with it and the parents raved about it. Thank you so much !!! :)
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Are you looking for a solar project? Here’s a fabulous Earth Day STEM activity all about using the sun for warming items! Your students will love this project! You will love the detailed teacher's guide full of information and tips.

This challenge is available in money-saving bundles.

What is the challenge?

  • Students will be using materials to design a box oven that will absorb and/or reflect sunlight and create enough heat inside the box to toast a food product.
  • We decided s’mores would be a fun item to try!
  • Students will test their ovens by trying different materials to determine which absorbs heat the best and then they will build the version they think will create the warmest oven.
  • The final oven will be used to heat and toast a s’mores dessert.

What is your prep?

You will need supplies in addition to this package. This includes boxes- any box will work (we used pizza boxes), tape- clear or masking, black construction paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, waxed paper, food supplies, thermometers, straws, stopwatches -optional, and a sunny day!

The package specifically includes:

  • Cover
  • Teacher background
  • Materials and preparation page
  • 6 pages of teacher directions
  • Constraints list
  • 4 pages of photographs
  • Extra Hints page
  • Student lab sheet with sample answers
  • Science information page
  • Scientific method alternate activity with a data recording sheet
  • Scoring rubric
  • Terms of Use page
  • Also, the forms are provided in an editable format. The page count listed for this package includes everything.

This challenge will need 1 class session (1 hour) to complete. If the scientific method activity is added it may take two class sessions.

This challenge worked perfectly with two more challenges in the Earth Series:

Or save money with two bundle options!

You might also enjoy these Earth Day Resources:


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Total Pages
20 + editable
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


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