GrowNYC’s Environmental Education unit “Solar Ovens and Earth Science”

PAESTA Teachers - see this note from GrowNYC about their free middle/high school unit involving pizza boxes and the Sun!

I am writing to inform you that GrowNYC’s Environmental Education unit, “Solar Ovens and Earth Science”, is now available free of charge on the Internet to high school and middle school Earth Science teachers. The unit covers key concepts in the Earth Science syllabus: electromagnetic spectrum, wavelength, insolation, the angle of insolation, the Greenhouse effect, the solstices and equinoxes, absorption of light energy by color and texture, the First Law of Thermodynamics, specific heat, conduction, convection and radiation.

How pizza box ovens relate to these concepts and the directions for construction are integrated into the 10 page document. All materials needed to build the ovens can be purchased in a supermarket and/or stationary store with the exception of the pizza boxes which can be obtained from a local pizza shop for a small fee (must be new and clean). For NYC based educators GrowNYC has some pizza style boxes available that can be picked up at our centrally located offices. Other kinds of boxes can be adapted to the project.

Interested Earth Science teachers or school administrators should go to and download the unit as a PDF. If educators would prefer to receive a the unit in the mail a copy can be requested by emailing me at or calling 212-7887932. Thank you


Michael Zamm

Director of Environmental Education