Introduction: Solar Oven by Michael Simes

My name is Michael Simes and I am a 7th grade student at Central Tree Middle School in Massachusetts. For a science project, I built and tested a solar oven to look at alternate forms of energy. A solar oven is an easy to make, energy saving cooking device that are best used on a hot and sunny day. Solar ovens can be used to cook food items without using electricity.

Step 1: Benefits of Using Solar Ovens

  • Portable - Solar ovens can be used and moved anywhere there is sun to cook food items.
  • Easy to make & set up - Solar ovens only need a few materials and some time to set up.
  • Uses solar energy - They are good alternatives to using electricity.
  • Inexpensive - They do not cost a lot of money to make.
  • Environmental Friendly - The solar oven doesn't release any fumes to harm anything in the environment.

Step 2: Limitations of Solar Ovens

  • Works at a slow speed - Solar ovens need time for the sun to travel to heat the element.
  • Inconsistent - You are able to cook with the solar ovens on cloudy or rainy days.
  • Temperature control - You are not able to control the temperature of the oven easily.
  • Hard to clean - In the model oven that I built, the pan would have to be removed each time to clean.
  • Tough to plan meals - Using solar ovens only works when solar energy is available and can be hard to coordinate with meal times.

Step 3: Design Process

Step 1) Gather materials

Step 2) Measure umbrella

Step 3) Cut and glue foil on umbrella

Step 4) Tape fry pan to pole of umbrella with duct tape

Step 5) Use a deck umbrella stand to hold up the oven in the sun

Step 6) Wait for sun to heat the pan

Step 7) Put food into heated pan

I used various websites and my own creativity to come up with my solar oven.

Solar oven guide

Home science tools

Step 4: Materials & Skills



  • Hand work
  • Measuring
  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Precise

Step 5: Building Process - Pictures

Step 6: Testing Process - Pictures and Modifications

When we tested the oven, the chocolate melted slowly in about two minutes. I decided to modify the oven and add black duct tape on the outer rim to attract more sunlight because black also attracts sunlight. Unfortunately the day that we tried the duct tape, it was cloudy and we didn't get a good read of an increased temperature.

Step 7: Conclusion

In conclusion my oven was partially successful because it did heat food but did not excel in the amount of heat/temperature. If I were to do things differently, I would not have used an umbrella but rather a metal box instead because it would trap heat better.