S’mores are a quintessential summer camping treat. Now you can have that ooey-gooey, chocolatey goodness even when having a fire isn’t possible.
With this simple summer STEM activity, you can show the kids how to make solar oven s’mores at home.
Warning: It may just become one of your favorite STEM activities!
Materials Needed to Make Solar Oven S’mores:
- Clean, empty pizza box (You can purchase these new if you don’t want to reuse an old pizza box.)
- Black construction paper
- Aluminum foil
- Clear plastic wrap
- Graham crackers
- Chocolate candy bars (We love Hershey bars.)
With the pizza box closed, use your ruler to measure and draw lines 1 1/2 inches from the lid’s edge at the front and two sides. Cut along the lines, making a flap in the lid. (Be sure you don’t cut the back edge.)
Wrap aluminum foil, with the shiny side out, around the pizza box lid. You may need to use a bit of tape to hold the foil securely. Tape a second piece of foil, shiny side up, to the bottom of the box. Finally, cut a piece of black construction paper so that it fits at the bottom with 1 inch of foil showing on all sides. Secure the black paper to the foil, rolling the tape so it is hidden under the black paper.
Lay your s’more ingredients in the box, on the black paper, with one graham cracker at the bottom, piece of chocolate, and then marshmallow. Keep the top graham cracker off for now. (If you want to reuse your solar oven, place a small piece of foil just under your s’mores to keep the black paper clean.)
Cover the opening in the box with clear plastic wrap. This will help keep the bugs off and holds in the heat. Use tape to hold this plastic in place.
Finally, use your pencil (or a wooden dowel) to hold the flap open. Set the solar oven in the sun, positioning it so that the sun reflects off the foil on the lid’s flap. You may need to adjust the pencil’s position. Tape can help keep the pencil in place.
Now you’re cooking s’mores with your solar oven!
Check your s’mores every 10 minutes. They are ready to eat when the marshmallows are able to squish under the top graham cracker.
Extend the activity:
- Use a thermometer to see how hot your solar oven gets. How does this temperature compare to a real oven?
- The weather will affect how well your solar oven works. Try it on different days. How well does it work on a mild day versus a hot one? What about a cloudy day versus a sunny day?
- The black paper serves as a heat sink. What would happen if you used a piece of white paper or a different color?
- Can you think of ways to make your solar oven more efficient?
- What else can you cook with your solar oven? (Nachos are super simple. Just toss shredded cheese on tortilla chips.)
Making s’mores is a classic summer treat. This simple summer STEM activity teaches kids about the power of the sun, all while learning how to make s’mores with a solar oven.
Looking for more fun ideas?