Duct tape, cardboard boxes, recycled glass and a whole lot of tin foil – what’s that make? A solar oven for a third grader!
For the first time-ever Gwinnett County is hosting the FLARE (Focus on Leadership and Advancement in Renewable Energy) science competition. It takes place this Saturday at the school district’s Instructional Support Center (ISC), 437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW in Suwanee. The kids start setting up at 9 a.m. but I would come around 10 or 11 to see all the inventions. The little kids are working on solar ovens but the middle and high school students have been challenged to design solar and hydrogen cars! (I have no idea how they are doing that!)
It has been amazing process watching 9-year-olds prepare and figure out how exactly to harness the sun’s energy. They’ve tried out roofing shingles, black tape, black paint, magnifying glasses, with pots, without pots, Saran Wrap and a boatload of tin foil trying to create efficient cooking machines. They’ve exploded thermometers and learned about food safety!
Plus, they’ve had to design recipes that would cook fast, be nutritious and be tasty! They are actually going to be judged on taste! We’ll just be thrilled if it cooks all the way through.
Rose’s group decided on a tropical theme and is making citrus grilled shrimp and grilled fruit kabobs. Another team of Indian girls is making an Indian dish from a grain similar to grits. The boy’s team in our class is making a chicken dish wrapped in a pastry.
We’ve had two test days this week at the school. So far our shrimp has gotten red and shrank down but wasn’t quite done. The forecast for tomorrow is cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain. We are worried but it will be exciting to see if the kids can overcome the weather!
Come out on Saturday and marvel at their brains. Like my Dad said, we built solar ovens – in college!