Empowering Student Innovation for a Clean Energy Future

A Taste of Milwee

Milwee Middle School

A Taste of Milwee

Meet Our Team

Samantha P. -8th

Jacob O. -8th

Jonathan W. -8th
TJ G. -8th


Years competed in Energy Whiz


Years placed in solar Oven Cook-Off


Samantha and Jacob placed 3rd last year.

Our Solar Oven

The Building Process

Sun Reflectors

Samantha and Jonathan working together to apply an emergency blanket to the flaps of the box to work as sun reflectors.


Jacob working to cover a Styrofoam cooler top with black paper to attract heat and light.


Jonathan and TJ measuring insulation to get the perfect fit for our oven.

Helping Hands

Mrs. Unterreiner, SECME and engineering teacher at Milwee, helped us by supplying materials and answering any questions we had regarding recipes, designs, and testing.

Mr. Kallin, engineering and energy teacher at Milwee, assisted us in cutting the plexiglass on the top of the oven. He also taught us a little bit about solar energy by using the solar panels outside as an example.


Styrofoam Coolers- These coolers were in the closet from previous experiments and labs.

Box- The box was recycled from it’s previous use, which was to ship lab materials to Milwee, and used for the outside of our solar oven.

Emergency Blanket- The emergency blanket was in one of the many closets in Mrs. Unterreiner’s classroom.

Plexiglass- The plexiglass was found in a closet off of Mr. Kallin’s classroom.

Fresnel Lens- We have used the Fresnel Lens for previous solar ovens so we had it to re-use for our entry this year.

Black Paper- We got the black paper from a roll in the media center.

Insulation- We had this insulation in the classroom already from previous competitions.

Tin Foil Trays- The trays were leftover from Samantha and Jacob’s solar oven last year.

Tape- The tape was found in the classroom.

Cardboard- The cardboard was recycled from boxes that were sent with supplies for other competitions in them.

Milwee Greenhouse

Many of the herbs we used in our meal was grown in our greenhouse. The basil, mint, peppers, cucumbers, and cilantro was harvested the Friday prior to the competition.

The idea for our cooker came from when we were looking back on previous Milwee solar oven entries. We decided to combine our two ovens from last year and use the Fresnel Lens from the winning one, and the design of the physical cooker from the one that got third place. We decided that this would be the most efficient way to cook food and beverages in the allotted amount of time.


We tested our oven on Thursday, April 21, 2022. The high was 80°F and the low was 64°F. It was overcast, windy, and cloudy.


At 9:33 am, we set the oven up outside a and recorded a temperature of 0°F.

At 11:00 am, the oven temperature was 200°F.

At 1:00 pm, the cooker temperature was 250°F.

At 1:30 pm, we had the hottest temperature at 250°F. This was when it was cloudy, windy, and overcast.


One challenge was the wind. During testing, the wins was strong and kept knocking over the oven. We decided to add supports on the sides to make sure it was stable and didn’t get knocked over.


Allen, A. L., Author, Allen, L., says:, P., Says:, L., says:, L., says:, D., & says:, J. davis. (2019, October 24). Vanilla Mug Cake. Tastes Better From Scratch. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from

Basil & Mint Iced Tea Recipe. Botanical Balcony. (2020, June 25). Retrieved April 25, 2022, from

Solar ovens: Solar cooking information: Solar Recipes. Solar Oven Society. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2022, from

8 thoughts on “A Taste of Milwee

  • Very nice project, looks like you put a lot of effort into the project

  • I love how hands on this on

  • Very creative recipes and oven design! Along with very impressive problem solving skill.

  • This is so amazing and wonderful

  • Building the supports to counteract the wind and the extendable supports for reflection flaps show real problem-solving and engineering skills for a perfected design.

  • Truly inspiring and beautiful cooker. Impressive use of all solar cooker elements. Nice touch growing your own ingredients and repurposing materials. Great maximum temperature and tasty result. Way to go!!!

  • I’m impressed by the high temperature that you achieved, especially in overcast weather! Nice work on the reflector and absorber surfaces, and insulators. Good, informative video too!


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