Our Year 8 Science classes are currently working on a group assessment task that requires them to design and build a solar oven.
This task links in very closely with the workshop run by Engineers Without Borders two weeks ago. In that workshop students were faced with a daily problem faced by a local Cambodian community.
The Year 8 students were given this scenario:
Imagine you do not have electricity. You need to collect the water you need everyday and it makes you sick. You need to collect firewood, which is very scarce, to cook so you don’t go hungry. This is the reality for millions of people living on this planet who need to make do with what they have, which isn’t very much at all.
But what if you told those people they could drink water safely? That they didn’t need to spend hours trying to find enough firewood to cook? Or that they weren’t going to put themselves at risk of becoming sick from inhaling smoke from their fires? A solar oven is a simple device that helps do all these things.
The task is to create a solar cooker that can cook s’mores faster than any of the other solar cookers being created in your class.
As a part of the task each group needs to collect evidence to show that each member of has contributed to:
- Discussions regarding the design of the solar oven
- Decisions regarding the materials used
- Drawings that show how your solar oven design has changed over time
- Constructing the solar oven
Through this process each student in the group has a vested interest in ensuring the workload is shared across the group. Being regularly exposed to these types of tasks is essential given these are exactly the type of tasks students will face when they move on to higher education.
We look forward to sharing the journey of our Year 8 students as they complete this task.