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This page features a classroom project for secondary science education that integrates engineering design with optics and thermodynamics. Students work on teams to construct a solar oven with flat reflector panels. The project was designed to help learners understand that, to harness the sun as a source of energy, solar energy must be converted from visible light into heat or electricity. The construction kit calls for simple materials such as cardboard and duct tape, and includes a downloadable pattern for building the oven. Background information gives student and teacher support on the subject of solar heat and its applications. Registered teacher-users also have access to supporting lesson plans. This resource is part of a larger collection of hands-on projects and teaching materials on the topic of renewable energy. Editor's Note: Although this resource is designated for use in middle school, the reading level for the student guide is Grade 10, and for background information is Grade 11. Overall, the concepts are appropriate for the cognitive level of Grades 7-8, but teacher scaffolding may be needed for unfamiliar vocabulary. High school students should be expected to complete the activity with minimal scaffolding.
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