Teen scientist harnesses sun power to help Navajo community

New Mexico teen Raquel Redshirt uses everyday materials and the sun to build solar ovens, fulfilling a Navajo community need and winning an award at the Intel ISEF competition.

Growing up on New Mexico’s Navajo Nation, Raquel Redshirt was well aware of the needs of her community. Many of her impoverished neighbors lacked basics such as electricity, as well as stoves and ovens to cook food.

Though resources in the high desert are limited, Raquel realized one was inexhaustible: the sun. “That’s where I got the idea of building a solar oven,” the teen says.

She researched solar ovens and found that most incorporate mirrors or other expensive materials. Raquel wanted to create a design that anyone could easily afford and replicate, using readily available materials.

She built and tested ovens made of old tires, cardboard, aluminum foil, tape, and insulating materials, including shredded paper and plain old dirt.

8 thoughts on “Teen scientist harnesses sun power to help Navajo community

  1. Pingback: Teen scientist harnesses sun power to help Navajo community | bannon06

  2. I really admire Raquel’s innovative spirit and her willingness to share what she discovers. I am a Middle School Science teacher and I work with middle school students on projects such as these. If Raquel would want to contact me I would share some things we have discovered. I would also like to see the other solar oven designs she has worked with.
    Congratulations, Raquel on your achievements! I hope many people benefit from your work.

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  4. Pingback: Teen scientist harnesses sun power to help Navajo community | the Struggling Genius

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  7. I wonder if Raquel would run for the Presidency of the United States when she is old enough to run. I think it would give her some sort of insight on what she might would ,like to do. This is only an idea and Raquel if you would want to run for the President’s office If I live that long you would definitely have my vote. Look I knows that things could change between now and then and this is your decision. Please take care of our people and please please be very careful. I am a fly on the wall.

  8. Pingback: Teen scientist harnesses sun power to help Navajo community | kimalarie

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