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Engineering students crank up the heat at 'Solar Oven Throw Down'

Posted at 5:00 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-19 01:27:08-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A big competition was heating up at the University of Arizona's main campus Friday.

Students were tasked with building solar ovens using everyday household items, and using them to cook biscuits.

For the last several months, students have been applying thermo-dynamic and mathematical concepts to design and construct the ovens. They used items like cardboard, duct tap, aluminum foil and even teddy bear fluff.

"Initially we wanted to go with styrofoam, but I couldn't find any of the styrofoam that was a reasonable price," Aaron Ramos, who participated in the event, said. "So I found this bag of teddy bear fluff, and I was like 'Well teddy bears are warm, we want the oven to be warm, therefore if I use this, the oven will be warm!"

The "Solar Oven Throwdown" is one fo the first hands-on design projects students complete as part of a new, four-year engineering design program.