Students from Churchville-Chili Senior High School developed the winning solar cooker at the Alfred State University Technology Challenge on April 8.
The competition focused on designing and building an energy-efficient solar cooker, along with creating a business plan for production and marketing of the device, with 10 teams from high schools from across the state competing. The Churchville-Chili team scored 353 out of a possible total 400 with their solar oven, which achieved a baking temperature of over 300 degrees.
Team members Jamar Bevel, Ericka Considine, Zach Diegart, Adam Dietrich, Skylar Pickard, Brandy Plante, Olivia Tamoutselis and Allison Woeller are in grades 10-12. The students were guided by applied geometry teacher Terry Fillion and special education teacher Micah Court, with assistance from career and technical teacher Kevin Doty and instructional coach Andrea Lynch.
“I am so proud of our students and the 21st century learning that they have experienced,” said William Geraci, CCSHS principal. “I know that they will remember this project for a long time.”
The school’s solar challenge project, partially funded by a grant from ASU, integrated geometry, algebra, computer-aided design, graphics and business curriculum. All team members collaborated closely on research and working prototypes. They analyzed test data and used the results to optimize their final solar cooker, which received high scores for design, construction and operation.
The business plan, directed by Dietrich, led the competition with the highest scores, in part to creative marketing graphics by Diegart and video advertising by Bevel.
Cooking with the sun is the safest and most inexpensive way to cook food without consuming fuels. Solar cookers are making a huge international impact on the environment, health and nutrition and family economics. ASU’s annual Technology Challenge provides an opportunity for high school students to showcase their technology and business skills.