Back in July, a few Shades Cahaba Elementary students decided to make a solar oven just for fun and to pass time. Thomas Jackson “TJ” Rozzell, his brother Daniel Rozzell, and their friend Hudson Burke’s creation actually worked, but not very well. They could barely get the temperature up to 135 degrees.
About a week later, Daniel and his father, Curt Rozzell, took the oven apart and reconfigured it using their Shades Cahaba School Supply box to improve their model. The new solar oven was far more successful, and the temperature went over 200 degrees. The family baked chocolate chip cookies in it and had to use oven mitts to get the cookies in and out of the solar oven.
Then in August the boys learned that Lockheed Martin sponsored a #mademysummer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) contest on social media to see how students and adults use STEM education outside the classroom. The contest asked followers to submit STEM projects that had been completed over the summer, including descriptions and a photograph. Winners would have their names entered into a drawing for an iPad.
Since TJ and Daniel had a finished project when the contest was announced, their mother, Liza Rozzell, submitted her boys’ story on Facebook and Twitter. After some time had passed, Lockheed Martin tweeted that the boys had made it in to the finals. This was followed by a private message to the mother asking for the boys’ mailing address because they had won the iPad.
To further STEM education, Lisa Lorino engages her students at Shades Cahaba in academic projects that advance their math, science, and critical thinking skills.
In appreciation to Lorino inspiring a curiosity and love of science in both of her sons, the Rozell family is donating the iPad to Lorino’s classroom to support continued efforts in engaging kids in STEM projects. The iPad arrived at the end of September and now has a home at Shades Cahaba Elementary School.