I only have one more day left of my seventh/eighth grade experience. :(
To wrap up our science chapter, the students designed and built their own solar cookers! This first stemmed from our lesson on alternatives to fossil fuels. Solar energy was one of the many alternatives we studied. To introduce this project, I showed the students a video about the Kyoto Box. Before watching the video, the students thought that the benefits of solar energy were the inexpensiveness and the renewable nature of the sun. But after watching the video, we learned that solar energy can be used in underdeveloped countries because of their lack of electricity, the abundance of sunlight, and the increase in safety of the people.
Today the students brought in their cookers, and we tested them by making s'mores.
One eighth grader used a magnifying glass to increase the effect of the sun and a mirror to reflect it back.
Another eighth grader made a bowl-like top to focus the sun on her s'more.
A seventh grader put a pan inside of his and used black paper on the bottom to absorb the sun.
I was so impressed by their hard work and unique designs! We invited the other classrooms in the building to come out and see our cookers. The students had prepared short presentations to explain, especially to the younger students, why we made the cookers, what purpose they serve, and how they work to cook food.
This eighth grader even got onto the ground with the first and second graders to show them how his magnifying glass helped the marshmallow cook faster.
Overall, it was a huge success! The marshmallows cooked, everyone enjoyed their delicious s'mores, and I was so happy that the students worked so hard and were so proud of their own work.
While we were outside babysitting our cookers, we made Mother's Day gifts. Each of the students made magazine marble magnets and gave their moms two tea bags. A friend of my mom's has a die-cut machine and cut us these cute little boxes.
It was a great Friday filled with projects and crafts! For the end of Teacher Appreciation Week, the PTP made us a great teacher luncheon, and they took over our classes for the afternoon so all of the teachers left at noon. What a nice way to feel appreciated. :)