Spira campers creating solar stoves

Spira campers creating solar stoves

To start off the environmental engineering unit at Spira, a free engineering camp for rising 10th grade girls who live in the Providence area, campers engaged in an activity that was inspired by 100 Under $100. The activity involved learning about solar ovens followed by designing and creating solar ovens. The campers learned about how in many countries, wood burning, in ovens or just over open fires, is typically used for cooking food. As a result, families are at a higher risk for respiratory diseases. Additionally, women and girls are often responsible for collecting the wood for these stoves or open fires. Going out to retrieve the wood poses risks and also reduces available time for education. By using solar ovens as an alternative to wood burning, deforestation can be reduced, the risk of respiratory disease can be lowered, fossil fuel emissions can be brought down, and women and girls can have more time on their hands.

 

With this information in mind, the groups of campers came up with unique designs using just aluminum foil, cardboard, plastic wrap, and various craft sticks. While designing their solar ovens, the campers kept in mind how to retain heat inside their devices and also how to concentrate light from the sun in a specified area. The campers also discussed how they would introduce a product such as this in a country outside of the US.
100 Under $100 is a great way for young women interested in engineering to learn about how engineering can be applied to help with both environmental challenges and challenges that women face worldwide.
For more info about Spira, check out their Facebook page.