Lesson 4

Now You're Cooking: Designing Solar Ovens

Designing a Solar Oven / Grade 3 / Marietta, GA

EiE - Now You're Cooking: Designing Solar Ovens - Lesson 4


The EIE Curriculum

Students apply their knowledge of materials as insulators, environmental impacts, and green engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve a solar oven.

Reflection Questions

What visual aids does Linda use to “make thinking visible” for her students?

Linda builds a culture of literacy in her class by using anchor charts to record prior learning, help students self-monitor their work, and post cues for classroom activity.

  • Linda has mounted copies of the three handouts that she expects students to work on. Beneath each sheet, she has written notes how to complete each sheet. Students use this chart to help them keep track of where they are and what they should do next. (00:47, 3:20)
  • Linda attached small samples of each insulation material to poster board and labeled them. Students can touch each sample and use the chart to help them remember the English names of each material. (1:02)
  • While students are working, Linda uses the smart board to indicate which step of the Engineering Design Process they should be working on. The message reads to “Now, It’s time to PLAN!” (3:30)
  • When explaining how to calculate the total heat score of the solar oven, Linda projects a large version of the scoring sheet and invites Nathan up to fill in the data and model the scoring process. (7:37)

What important aspects of engineering is Linda promoting in her students when she has them take a "Museum Walk?"

Through the Museum Walk, Linda’s students are reminded that engineers learn by studying the work of others and by sharing ideas. They think critically about how each oven was made and make connections to their own work.

  • Students think critically as they compare the performance of their solar ovens to those of others, and draw conclusions about which materials make good insulators. (8:54)
  • Students use mathematical thinking to help them interpret the scoring sheets of other solar oven teams. (9:05)
  • Students apply the knowledge they gained when they go back to improve their own solar oven designs. (9:32)