Kw-logo-smaller

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

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
get more just like it in your email

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...

latest videos

Random in the forums

Jelly3
Jelly3 posted in General:
Banned for having a spoiler in your signature. x3
reply less than a minute
Liesl
Liesl posted in General:
"Jelly3" wrote:Banned for banning without giving a reason. banned because you banned me. And I said banned just because!
reply 2 minutes
smarty321
smarty321 posted in Say Anything:
Heya! It's a real story... So read it carefully. IT'S 'BOUT GHOSTS!!!! Once a man went to Goa, India as a tourist. He booked a room in a hotel. The hotel manager told him that the next room to the one which he had booked was creepy. He warned him not to ever peek into the room through the keyhole or by any other means. It's a common human nature that we humans tend to do what we are told not to do. So, the man could not resist seeing into the room. He went to his room and slept. He woke up after about 2 hours and went to that creepy room! He peeped into the room through the keyhole. He could see nothing but a bed and a sofa set and all those common household items. He went away. The next day he again peeped though the keyhole. This time he could see a woman wrapped up in a white sari leaning on the bed with her face hidden. He could hear her crying. He went away cuz he was scared. The next day we again went to peep into the room. This time he could see no woman crying. Suddenly someone tapped at his shoulder from behind. He turned back to see who it was but there was no one. He again peeped through the keyhole. This time all he could see was red. He could see nothing but the color ###. ## was just red. He could not understand anything and went away. He went to the hotel manager and asked him what the reason behind it was. The manager told him that once a couple had last booked that room. The woman died during their stay at the hotel and the man just went away. Since then the woman had been there haunting anyone who dares to enter the room. The manager added that the woman's spirit had red eyes! NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!!!!! It was the spirit's eyes!!! The man could see her red eyes in the keyhole!!!!! The spirit was looking at him but he did not notice!!! WOAH!!!
reply 6 minutes
Jelly3
Jelly3 posted in General:
Happy Birthday!  Have fun :'D
reply 9 minutes
Jelly3
Jelly3 posted in General:
Banned for banning without giving a reason.
reply 11 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

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

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...

_thumb_100x100

We have all played the famous game Sudoku, now play it online with this Classic ...