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Roots & Shoots Project

 
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SharonID



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject: Roots & Shoots Project Reply with quote

I've been invited to do a solar cooking project with a Roots and Shoots group in Moscow, Idaho. About a dozen kids, ages 9-12. Should be fun.

We're going to build cookers at a regular meeting, what I'm calling EZ-3s, which is your basic box corner pyramid, but sized so that the whole thing will just ease into a turkey bag. Then you roll up the back to pull it tight and seal it and clip it with a couple of clothespins. For about the max size this will work with, make the back about 17" high (tape the flaps up with duct tape if you need to to get the height) with the slant edges about 21" long.

I think this will be easier and safer for the kids to handle than having the cooking pots or jars in bags, since they can just roll/slide the bag down when they want to get the pots out without a sometimes-slippery bag between their hands and the pot. You can even rearrange it to vent the peak a tiny bit if condensation is a problem. Boils a pint with ease, and would probably cook a quart of soup or stew or whatever if you got it out early, especially in a black canning jar. I'm waiting to hear back from REI Outlet to see if they can cut me a case deal on some darling little 3-cup backpacker pot overstocks that are just perfect if you spray the tops of the lids black (the bottoms are already black non-stick, inside and out).

Once we get the cookers built (which will include discussion of how to use them and probably a nice treat from my cookers), we'll have a field trip to a park on a weekend. Meet at 9:30 or so, have everyone assemble their pot of soup (vegetable w/ alphabet noodles, and they get to pick the veggies they want), have the little pots in their cookers by 10am or so (while getting cornbread or somesuch going in my big box, to go with the soup). Around 11am, we'll add the preheated alphabet noodles to the soups, and hopefully they'll be done by noon if not sooner. During part of the time the sun is doing the work for us, we'll take advantage of the park's nature trail. If only we luck out on sunshine and lack of cloud cover! It'll be mid-September, which is a little iffier, but we still have lots of nice days then, so here's hoping.

I'm hoping that if the kids can go home and demonstrate just how easy it is to harness the sun for cooking, there will be some family projects to build bigger cookers and in general even more local interest in the subject (I'll be trying to get us a spot of press coverage, too, from the university papers if nothing else). I hope so, anyway. The kids will also leave with hand-outs and the SCA url, and we'll talk about what solar cooking means in various parts of the world, so they can go home and tell their families how many ways we help the whole world and its people when we cook with the sun.

Wish me luck! If only the sky will cooperate!

Regards,
SharonID

P.S. If you don't know about Roots & Shoots, visit: http://www.rootsandshoots.org/
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Idaho Regional Representative, International Women's Writing Guild
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ghostman



Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm curious how this project went. I volunteer during the summers as a science instructor for a local non-profit. This year, I was hoping to spend three days teaching/building/cooking with solar cookers. The target audience is anywhere from ages 7 to 15.

I'm having a hard time visualizing the type of cooker you used. Because of the limited time, I'm not sure what type of cooker would be best to, say, boil water. Do you have any photos?

Thanks,

ghostman
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SharonID



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ghostman wrote:
Hi,

I'm curious how this project went. I volunteer during the summers as a science instructor for a local non-profit. This year, I was hoping to spend three days teaching/building/cooking with solar cookers. The target audience is anywhere from ages 7 to 15.


Very very well. I'm exhausted on my way home for a writing conference or I'd rhapsodize. (Which is also why I didn't see this sooner.)

ghostman wrote:
I'm having a hard time visualizing the type of cooker you used. Because of the limited time, I'm not sure what type of cooker would be best to, say, boil water. Do you have any photos?

Thanks,

ghostman


Yep, you can read about it and see photos at: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/EZ-3_Solar_Cooker

You can email or message me from my profile for more information (once I get home and unpacked, I'll be more accessible). It's a fantastic little cooker for up to a quart of food, and it's very quick to make.

Regards,
SharonID
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Visit the Guild at: http://www.iwwg.org/
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