Pizza Box Solar Ovens

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Adapted from the Alabama Solar Association


  • Pizza box
  • Black construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Glue, scissors, and tape
  • Chopstick/straw

Forming a Hypothesis:

  1. What is light made out of?
  2. Where does light go when it hits an object? How does the object’s color affect this?
  3. Why do ovens need to be airtight to be effective?


  1. Draw a one inch border on all sides of the top of the pizza box. Cut along three sides, leaving the line along the back of the box uncut.
  2. Form a flap by gently folding back along the uncut line to form a crease. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to fit on the inside of the flap.  Smooth out any wrinkles and glue into place.
  3. Tape two pieces of plastic wrap to the opening: one on the top, and one on the bottom. Pull the plastic wrap as tight as possible!
  4. Cut another piece of aluminum foil and tape to the bottom of the box and glue down. Cover the aluminum foil with a piece of black construction paper.
  5. Draw a diagram of your oven in your lab book- where is the sunlight directed? What will happen to the air inside the box? Can you think of anything that would make your oven work better?
  6. (If there’s time) If you thought of anything in step 5, add it to your oven. Make sure to add your name (and decorations) to your box!

After the Experiment:

  1. How hot did your oven get? If you could use any other material, what would you do differently to make your solar oven even better?
  2. Can you think of other ways to use solar energy (besides an oven for food!) to heat things in your house?

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