This annual competition includes more than 400 engineering students constructing ovens that cook only using the power of the sun. Students construct ovens from common, low-cost materials such as cardboard and aluminum foil. But despite these simple materials, the ovens can reach more than 450 degrees inside, plenty hot to cook biscuits — the go-to food of the competition.
Student ovens are based on the performance index of how well the oven’s predicted temperature matched the actual temperature. For the 2023 throw down, the team Cookie Monsters of adjunct lecturer Kenneth George’s class reached a record high of 486 Fahrenheit despite the day being partially cloudy.
"The Solar Oven Throw Down is a culminative event between all the different instructors and the students that have been building for four-to-five weeks," Hempel said. "These are very collaborative builds, so each team of four students is trying to get the highest internal temperature of the oven."