Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Olympic Learning and a Pizza Box Solar Oven

Now that the Olympics are over and the outdoor pool is closed for the year, I might actually have some time to blog...

We absolutely love watching the Olympics around here. I am not normally one to watch a lot of sports on TV, but there is something so irresistible about the Olympic spirit. We spent many hours in front of the TV together in the last couple weeks (and I spent a few nights up by myself until 1:30 a.m. to catch the gymnastics competitions!)

It's fun to reflect on all the learning that occurred as we enjoyed all those great Olympic moments. What a perfect, real-life illustration of time zones - the kids were quite fascinated by the fact that when we were watching something on Wednesday night, it was Thursday morning in Beijing! We had our atlas sitting on the coffee table during the entire duration of the Olympics as we were regularly looking up where countries were located. It really amused us to discover that there were a number of countries off the coast of Australia with populations far smaller than our city. Solomon Islands' population (441,000) is very close to that of our city. It's fun to think of our city being an entire country, LOL! The kids picked up quite a few different country's flags during the course of the Olympic coverage, too. We also had lots of great conversations about the rules of different sports, sportsmanship, why Michael Phelps is so much faster than all the other swimmers, and many other things I've already forgotten!

In between all our Olympics-watching, we also found time to build a pizza box solar oven and test it out.

This was a really fun project - I got the instructions from Family Fun magazine. Here's the oven construction in progress.

Testing out the finished product! We measured the internal temperature - it got up to 139 degrees Fahrenheit (59.6 degrees Celsius) in 20 minutes. The air temperature was 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

Yum! Melted cheese on crackers - very tasty! The cheese was thoroughly melted after 15 minutes but didn't bubble and spread the way it normally would in the oven. We want to try making s'mores in the solar oven next.

If you want to try this project yourself, the instructions are here.

1 comment:

Cid said...

I love your blog... Love the similarities in our families and love that Jewel song you have listed first on your play list!! I'd forgotten about it, and now it's happily playing on my "Inspiration" playlist on iTunes :) thanks!

Peace & Abundance, Cid