April 10, 2010

Students' solar frybread cooker

Native Sun cooker a finalist in national competition

By Erny ZahThe idea is simple. Use sunlight to cook food.

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.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see On the Native Science Circuit and Boy Scientist Earns New House.

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)

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