Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hot Diggity Dog: RGCCISD Making Science Hands-On

It wasn’t lunch time as some fourth grade students at Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Elementary School chanted, “weanies, weanies, weanies.”  Instead, it was in the middle of science class. The lucky fourth graders were anxiously awaiting the chance to eat their science experiment, hot dogs cooked by solar energy.

Coach Mark Olivarez used Pringles cans, wooden skewers, transparency film (or a sheet protector), a knife, a hammer, a nail and two strips of clear packing tape to make thermal ovens. He demonstrated the entire process of creating the thermal ovens for the students who avidly looked on.

“We are gonna take the sun’s radiant energy and bring it down into the can through the clear plastic, and we are gonna reflect it off the silver on the inside of the can and then it turns into thermal energy, or heat. We are keeping all the heat in the can, just like an oven, and that will cook the hot dog. It’s important that we place the cans towards the sun so we can get the most energy from the sun as possible.”

The students paraded outside, proudly displaying their cans and set them down one by one.
The hot dogs were skewered inside the cans and cooked for 40 minutes outside using the sun’s energy and the reflective silver from the inside of the can.

Student Aalyana Murdock said, “I am feeling excited because we are using the sun to cook these hot dogs. This makes learning fun for me and I might be a science teacher one day too!”

“I can’t wait to eat this delicious food,” said student Mario Garcia. “It’s very exciting to do a science project like this and see the thermal energy cooking the hot dogs. It was a good surprise for us.”

And as an additional surprise, the students learned they would also enjoy the Pringle chips from inside the can to go with their hot dogs. “Mmmmmmm,” expressed the students loudly and clearly. The experiment was a clear winner for the students and coach.  

“It is a simple way to show the kids how solar energy works and hands-on experiments keep the kids interested,” said Olivarez. “It’s great to look at books and talk about theory, but when you get them doing a project like this with objects they can relate to, it gives them a better perspective of what science is; it keeps them excited.”

But Olivarez warned the students that although experiments like this are fun, they should not be tried without the help of a parent.

“We have done other experiments with the students and it’s been a real hit,” concluded Olivarez. “My advice to parents is to speak with your child’s teacher and find out what the students will be covering each six weeks. We can give parents ideas, but also a simple search on the Internet will give anyone many experiment ideas that will be step-by-step. It’s a good way to enhance your students’ learning at home.”

Photo caption 1: 
Students show off their science experiment.

Photo caption 2: 
Coach Mark Olivarez demonstrates creating a thermal oven to his fourth grade science class.

Download our Free iPhone/Android App
Advertise with us

No comments:

Post a Comment