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ERIC Number: EJ1197776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Solar Cookers in the Physics Classroom
Lancor, Rachael; Lancor, Brian
Physics Teacher, v56 n9 p607-609 Dec 2018
Project-based learning has been shown to be an effective pedagogical strategy that motivates students and thus promotes learning. In this article we describe a project-based unit centered on the physics of solar cookers (Fig. 1 and 3). Our goal was to elevate the solar cooker from a summer camp activity to a college-level project that could be used to teach thermodynamics in a more engaging way. Solar cookers are used by people in developing countries as an alternative to wood fires and dangerous kerosene stoves, which motivates students to study the thermodynamics of solar cookers. In this unit, students engage in the engineering design process by designing, building, and testing a solar cooker. To do this, the students learn about the physics necessary to understand how the solar cookers absorb and lose energy, including heat transfer mechanisms, blackbody radiation, reflection, and the greenhouse effect.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A