Our Solar Cooker By: Jaspreet & Pavneet


Sources for the Video:








ON Science

McGraw-Hill Ryerson

Pg. 403 - 407

A Solution to a Problem Mentioned as a Negative Social Impact

One of the problems which was noted in my area of study was that you can injure yourself when building and using the solar cooker. A solution to that problem would be that when your are building the solar cooker you need to wear googles so no material hits you in the eye. Also you need to wear gloves so you don't get injured when cutting or assembling materials on the solar cooker when building. But when you are using the the solar cooker, a essential need is to wear a sunglasses to block any sunlight or UV rays from damaging your eyesight. Also you need to wear heat protective gloves because when the sunlight and UV rays hit the solar cooker, the solar cooker begins to warm up and get hot. It releases heat which can burn your skin, therefore wearing heat protective gloves are essential. This is the solution which was created to stop an injuries which an individuals may receive when using or building the solar cooker.

A Technological Device Related to the Human Perception of Light

Contact lenses are a technological device related to the human perception of light. Contact lenses are very thin lenses which are placed right on the film of tears that cover the surface of the human eye. They are considered medical devices which can be worn to make your eyesight better, or they can be worn for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes. If light rays focus too fast in your eye and they form a focus point right in front of the retina rather than on it, you are then nearsighted. This means by wearing contact lenses, they can help you from getting nearsighted as they separate the light rays, that decrease the eye’s focusing power. Therefore, this moves the eye's focus point back to its original place to the retina, where it should be. But if you are farsighted, then light rays don’t form a focus point by the time period they arrive at the retina. Therefore, your eye doesn’t have an adequate focusing power. When you wear the contact lenses they help improve your far-sight by covering the light rays, which helps in improving the eye’s focusing power. This puts the eye’s focus point forward, onto the retina where it originally belongs. Contacts lenses are a very useful technological device related to human perception of light.

Contact lenses are also beneficial to society as they give those who have glasses/vision loss the ability to see without having to wear glasses, which is often more comfortable, and sometimes people feel more confident without glasses. However, contact lenses do take a negative toll on the environment as during their production, fossil fuels are used in the factories, and they are made of plastic. Economically though again, the contact lenses are beneficial for those who may not want to wear glasses on certain days, or special occasion but still be able to see, as they are not a permanent solution like Laser eye surgery, and are a way cheaper alternative.

Contact lenses are very effective in their job which could be to help those with vision loss, or for cosmetic/therapeutic reasons. Contacts lenses are very effective as vision correction is an essential all over the globe, and contact lenses have provided those with vision loss a comfortable and affordable way to disguise the fact they have vision loss, and/or given them the ability to change the colour of their eyes temporarily. According to the residents living in the the United States alone there are 168.5 million individuals who use some form on eye correction device whether it be glasses or contact lens. The amount of users are more than half the population of the United States of America. Nowadays, more and more individuals are using contact lens to improve their eyesight rather than glasses. This is because individuals have a wide range of active lifestyle choices to fashion purposes. Since 1991, the amount of contact lenses has rapidly increased as every year 4% of the number of contact wearers increases. Just as the amount of contact wearers has increased, the effectiveness of the contact lenses has increased throughout the years, which gave us today's very effective contact lenses.





Researcher/Vocational Pathway

A vocational pathway related to science in my unit investigation is a solar energy engineer. Solar energy engineers can also be referred to as alternative energy engineers, photovoltaic (PV) design engineers, or solar array engineers. These engineers are individuals who are specialists in using sunlight from the sun to create and use electricity. There is an entire industry for solar energy alone, where all these individuals work in the manufacturing, construction, and maintenance of solar power materials and solar power plant departments. There are several roles solar power engineers take on, for example there are chemical, computer software, electrical, mechanical, and industrial work which is done in the different parts of the solar energy industry.


What is Light & the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Sunlight itself is not hot, it’s just radiation/light waves basically energy generated by fluctuating electric and magnetic fields. It only feels hot because of the molecules on your skin and when the sun hits them. The way the sun heats the skin and heats it, the parabolic solar cooker generates high temperatures from the contact with the sun as well.

Basically, particles of light (photons), that are moving around in the light waves interact with molecules that are moving around in a substance. Electromagnetic Rays from the sun are full of energy, and so when they hit into matter (liquid, or solid) (for us, the food we are wanting to cook), the energy causes the molecules in the matter to vibrate vigorously due to all the excitement. The fast movement and jumping around of these molecules in the matter, generates heat, and solar cookers harnesses this heat.


ON Science

McGraw - Hill Ryerson

Pg. 409

Types of Light & Their Uses

The type of light used in our solar cooker is sunlight. The Sun emits light after excited atoms release some of their excess fusion energy which is transmitted to the gases on the outer layers of the Sun. Fusion energy, is created from a fusion reaction which occurs in the Sun’s core. In the Sun’s core hydrogen atoms are filled with energy, so when they collide, they sometimes form helium by combining, or fusing. Fusion energy is considered to be a part of nuclear energy.

Composed of electromagnetic energy of several wavelengths, solar radiation passes through the Earth’s atmosphere but only half makes it way to Earth’s surface, while the rest is reflected back to space. The sunshine we feel and see is actually filtered energy, due to the air molecules that react with incoming radiation scattering light, and absorbing the most harmful rays.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Wavelength : Percentage of Sunlight

Ultraviolet 10nm - 380 nm : 46%

Violet - Red 380nm - 750nm : 7%

Infrared 750nm - 1 000 000nm : 47%

Solar Radiation with wavelengths of 380nm to 750nm (Violet to Red), have enough energy to take electrons in material from their weak bonds, and create an electric current. Violet to Red wavelengths are the ones that are visible to the human eye. Ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths, generally considered unused, are the ones we use in our solar cooker, because they do not have enough energy to really move the electrons, so instead they get absorbed as heat, to power our solar cooker. As you can see from table 1.1 above, luckily most of solar radiation waves that are sunlight are Ultraviolet, and Infrared rays.

ON Science

McGraw-Hill Ryerson

Pg. 403 - 407


Properties of Light & Reflection

As the McGraw - Hill Ryerson ON Science textbook clearly states “All, light regardless of its source, behaves the same”. This includes sunlight which was the type of light our solar cooker used. The sun’s light rays, like all light, as it is a property of light travelled straight as light always likes to take the path that takes the least amount of time which is a straight line. Of course, this only applies when the light is travelling through the same medium, as light changes mediums it refracts, and reflects, and then continues traveling straight. In our solar cooker reflection plays an important role as well. Reflection is how the sun’s light ray’s bounce off our solar cooker and the reflecting rays intersect at our focal point. These rays become so concentrated, and are so full of energy that they change from light energy to heat energy and cook our food.

ON Science

McGraw - Hill Ryerson

Pg. 411 - 412

Plane, Convex, Concave Mirrors

We need a reflecting surface in our solar cooker, to reflect extra sunlight to concentrate the sun rays towards the cooking apparatus. This mirror also increases the temperature in our cooker to quickly heat up the food, and increases the amount of sunlight reflecting into our parabolic cooker. After doing quite a bit of research online, we gained the knowledge that a concave mirror is the best mirror to use for a solar cooker, since they are known to reflect all the light rays that hit them on a single point (where all the rays cross, a focal point). Due to all the light rays reflecting from a concave mirror hit at a single point, the concentration of light would be greater at the point as well, which will be needed when we are trying to cook food with our solar cooker, as we want the greatest concentration of sunlight possible, heating our food. Plane mirrors would be the second best choice, because they are easier to use in the sense that it is easier to manipulate the rays when dealing with a plane mirror since all the rays that reflect back are not ultra difficult to calculate. However plane mirrors reflect all the rays back, and there is isn’t one focal point possible where all the rays can meet like with a concave mirror. A convex mirror would be the worst choice for our solar cooker since it has an outward curve, and the focal point is on the other side of the mirror, which results in no possibility of the mirror allowing all the ray reflecting off it to concentrate on one point.




https://socratic.org/questions/why-are-concave-mirrors-used-in-solar-cookers - backed up with the textbook

ON Science

McGraw-Hill Ryerson

Pg. 411 - 416

Pg. 419 - 437

Ray Diagram

We drew our ray diagram to show how we would angle our parabolic solar cooker, in relation to how the sun's rays would hit it, so that the sun's light rays would hit it enough to reflect the rays to a specific point, known as a focal point where are the light rays would intersect. We chose to place our food not right on the focal point, since the concentration of the light rays could burn right through the plate and food we were cooking. Instead, we placed it near the focal point so the food would still receive the reflected light energy turned into heat energy, just to a decent amount, enough to cook the food but not burn it. Since we also needed to show our understanding of how the object would be reflected if our solar cooker was a mirror instead, we acted as if it was a mirror and showed where the image of the arrow "food" would be, in relation to the fact that it was between the center and focal points.

ON Science

McGraw - Hill Ryerson

Pg. 423, 434

Converging and Diverging lens & Refraction

Although, we did not include a lens in our parabolic solar cooker, theoretically if we were to include one, we would choose to include a converging lens. A converging lens would be the best choice over a diverging lens because a converging lens’ sole purpose is to simply bring parallel light rays towards a common point. Using this lens, we could manipulate the light rays to all be directed towards our cooking apparatus, as the common point to intensify the light rays heating our food. A diverging lens would not be the ideal choice for us to use, to help us in concentrating the light rays from the sun to a specific point as a diverging lens does the opposite than a converging lens and instead of bringing parallel light rays towards a common point, it spreads them apart, and away from a common point. Again, we are not really using refraction in our current solar cooker design, but if we were to it would be in the context of the converging lens. As the light rays would pass through the converging lens they would refract as the lens would have a different refractive index in comparison to the air, but in that case the light refracting would be to our advantage.

ON Science

McGraw - Hill Ryerson

Pg. 487 - 492

Pg. 449 - 451

Making Connections

Our solar cooker makes clear connections to the Earth and Space unit, which takes about climate change. Our solar cooker is a step in the right direction to reduce our carbon footprint, and help prevent global warming. Rather than using electricity and/or gas, like typical stoves do, we chose to use the sun as our energy source for our cooker. The sun is a renewable energy source as it is continuously producing mass amounts of energy, so it only makes sense to make use of this excess energy. Our solar cooker does not use any fossil fuels either, as they lead to the depletion of the ozone layer, which helps cause global warming. We are running out of natural resources, as we have already gone beyond our carrying capacity, and as a population we are greatly contributing to global warming. We need to really start making changes, like using a solar cooker instead of a grill or barbeque on a sunny days. This relates to the Earth and Space unit as its primary take a way is dealing with climate change; what causes it and what we can do. The solar cooker is an example of what we can do to stop climate change, as it is an alternative to an oven or stove which causes climate change. From a biology perspective the solar cooker doesn’t directly relate as the cooker itself mostly has to do with physics, and a bit of Earth and Space in relation to climate change, but the way the food is and how it's cooked could partially relate to biology. As the food heats up in the solar cooker the temperature stays moderate. It isn’t easy to get the solar cooker to very high temperatures, but that's an advantage because it doesn’t destroy the nutrients in the food, which is beneficial to the human body. We need those nutrients to help keep us strong and healthy, as we learned in the biology unit, so the way in which the solar cooker does not destroy these nutrients is how our solar cooker connects to the biology unit. As for chemistry, the process of nuclear fusion which occurs in the sun which produces large quantities of solar energy, occurs due to a chemical reaction between the nuclei separating from their electrons, and the hydrogen nuclei fusing to form a single helium atom. This process directly relates to chemistry as it explains how solar energy is created, dealing with atoms, and the different structures elements are made of. Our solar cooker demonstrates our knowledge, and understanding of various units all combined together as a single unit project.


Created with images by Todd Huffman - "Solar Cooker" • yourbestdigs - "Red oven mitts next to yellow mitt" • nikozz - "Moms contact" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Ballooning in the constant sun of the South Pole summer" • PublicDomainPictures - "sunrise sky blue" • tpsdave - "wales england rainbow" • addypope - "reflections" • Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos - "Convex Mirror" • Unsplash - "lens camera lens focus" • kudumomo - "Rays of Sun" • v a i r o j - "Sun rising" • DirtyOpi - "mirroring ball reflection" • ** RCB ** - "europa rainbow" • Freepht - "eyebrow eyelash human eye"

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