Kw-halloween-logo-small

Science Project: Solar Power Hot Dog Cooker

On these fast approaching summer days have you noticed how when you’re out in the sun you’re so much warmer than in the shade? Does it get so hot that you feel like you’re cooking? Well, this is a science project to explore how strong the sun’s rays really are. This homemade solar hot dog cookeris sure to cook up some interesting summer science and some delicious hot dogs.

 

The sun’s rays can be very hot, but to harness all their heat it’s important to “collect” the sun’s rays. The best way to do this is make a shape that reflects the light to a certain point, called the focal point. The best shape to use is the parabola (think the shape of half a football) the best material to reflect the sun’s rays is tinfoil and the best thing to cook on a hot summer day is a hot dog!

Materials:

  • Shoe box
  • Poster board
  • Tape
  • Tinfoil
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Wooden skewer
  • Hot Dog
  • Sunny Day

Procedure

  1. Cut a parabolic curve into the long sides of your shoebox. In other words, draw a shallow curve onto the sides of your shoebox where the lowest point of the curve is 2 inches from the bottom of the box. Cut along those lines.
  2. Take your poster board and cut it so that you can lay it over the top of your box, but still have it be flush with the curve of the side walls. It should look like a skateboard ramp.
  3. Tape the poster board to the walls of your box so that it looks like a skateboard ramp. To avoid bumps it’s best to begin taping at the middle and make your way to the sides.
  4. Cover the poster board you’ve just attached with tin foil. If the foil doesn’t stick right away use some glue to attach it. Again start from the middle and work your way out. You want the foil as smooth as possible.
  5. Tape two strips of poster board to the sides of your box, just where the curve is at it’s lowest. You’ll cut a hole in each strip so that you can rest the skewer with the hot dog. Make sure to measure the placement of the holes so that your hot dog isn’t touching the curve, but it resting just above it. This place in the curve is called the focal point and where the most heat will be directed.
  6. Skewer your hot dog, pop it in your cooker and place your cooker in a sunny summery spot. Make sure to give it a few spins in order to cook it evenly.
  7. Enjoy your hot dog!

Your cooker can get plenty hot enough to cook a hot dog completely but you’ll want to give it enough time to get that hot. If you’re documenting this project for a science fair project think about taking a thermometer and measuring how hot the cooker gets at different times.

If you’re not a hot dog fan think about cooking up a veggie dog, or even marshmallows for a midday s’more!

The sun is an amazing source of energy and this project reveals a fraction of its power.

Have Your Say!

What other types of energy does the sun offer us? Tell us in the comments section below.

>
>

readers voted!

Comments

wolfiegal

wolfiegal wrote:

I want a hotdog o_o
commented: Fri Mar 07, 2014

brunostar

brunostar wrote:

0-0
commented: Fri Mar 07, 2014

xPrincessPikachux
Awesome!
commented: Tue Aug 13, 2013

there are 15 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

What is the sun?
  • The sun is a planet.
  • The sun is a star.
  • The sun is another galaxy.
  • The sun is another solar system.

related stories

Micro_micro_icecream
Ice cream is definitely one of the most delicious treats you can have, but did you know you don’t...
Micro_solar-power-micro
Will we be forced to start writing with a pen and paper when the world's fossil fuel deposits ru...
Holy Hotdogs! Takeru Kobayashi breaks his own record by eating more than 53 dogs at the 2006 Worl...

Random in the forums

Cataclysm_Destruct
Band.
reply about 1 hour
hugebear
hugebear posted in Say Anything:
Skillet
reply about 1 hour
Bunnoo
Poetry is my life.
reply about 1 hour
Coolmath5u
Coolmath5u posted in General:
Hey guys! SO today i would like to tell you guys about Coolmath5u.# # #  . Coolmath5u is a website where you could play unblocked games at school or home, and schools never block it because it has math in its name. So when ever your bored in school, remember Coolmath5u.# # #!!!!    :)
reply about 1 hour
Cataclysm_Destruct
Type.
reply about 1 hour

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

Ow_fright_ad_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...