Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of energy to engineer well-insulated solar ovens.

  • Grades 1–5 (Designed for grades 3–5; includes modifications for grades 1–2.)
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Energy
  • 5 lessons (11–12 class sessions)

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Students are introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. (30–40 min.)
The class reads a storybook in which a girl named Lerato living in Botswana explores the field of Green Engineering in order to build a solar oven to cook food for her family. (90–120 min., 2–3 sessions)
Students use a life cycle assessment to trace the path of a material from creation to disposal. (55–65 min.)
Students investigate how quickly different materials transfer heat energy and assess the environmental impact of each material. (175–190 min., 3 sessions)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, test, and then improve their own solar oven designs. (165–180 min., 3 sessions)

Sample How-to Video

Sample Classroom Video

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources