By Erny Zah
Four students at Whitehorse High School have taken hold of the idea and harnessed it into a product that may someday revolutionize how people cook, and they started by cooking a Navajo staple--fry bread.
Their "solar fry bread cooker" grew out of a ninth-grade science class assignment to build a solar-powered oven. One team of students, who named themselves Native Sun, learned of the Spirit of Innovation Awards, a national contest that challenges students to create innovative products using science and technology. Sponsored by the San Francisco-based Conrad Foundation, it includes a category for renewable energy and green school projects.
The students modified the class assignment to create more of a fryer than an oven, and their innovation caught the eyes of the contest judges, who named it one of eight finalists in the renewable energy/green school category.
Below: "From left are Whitehorse High School science classmates; Nizhoni Spencer, Celeste Lansing, William McCarl and Sarah McCarl, who pose with their solar-powered cooking oven. The students used a Fresnel lens to beam the ray of the sun into a point that can get as hot as 3,812 degrees Fahrenheit, which could potentially be the next innovative way to make fry bread--a solar power style." (Special to the Times--Donovan Quintero)