Solar Hot Dog Cooker



This experiment aims to create a fun activity for students to realize the potential uses of solar energy. In addition to generating electricity, many examples exist of how heat from the sun can be utilized. Some examples include solar cookers, rooftop hot water systems, solar food dehydrators. Students will get a chance to try building a general purpose solar cooker. Different shapes and forms can be tried. A hot dog will be used as a test for their construction.


Description Amount
Large sheets of cardboard
2 per group
Cardboard box
1 per group
Aluminum foil
5 rolls
Cheap umbrella (to be destroyed)
~10 (total)
Strong Tape  
Extra long BBQ sticks  
Hot dogs  




Mini Workshop (2 hours)

  • Overview of project and describing the experiment (20-30 min)
  • Hands-on ( ~60-90 min)
    • Students divide in to groups.
    • They decide on the shape of the cooker they wish to construct.
    • Construction goes underway
  • Conclusion and discussion (15 min)

Short Experiments (30 min)

  • Give a very brief overview and let students cook hot dogs using cookers made by students who participated in the mini-workshops.
  • This implies that we need to conduct the mini workshop at least once before in order to have the materials available.


  • It is best if we have a dedicated area or room for this activity.
  • The area should have tables for materials, construction space, discussion area with a projection screen.
  • Students needs to go outside where there is bright sunlight.
  • This experiment may not be suitable for times when rain usually occurs.

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