INDIANAPOLIS — Earth Day was celebrated in style Monday when students held a solar cooking demonstration at Ben Davis University High School. The project was completed by the college algebra students lead by student teacher Jacob Goodman.
“We were learning about conic sections,” Goodman said. “We studied the parabola and its special properties. They researched parabolic solar cookers and had to come up with their own design ideas.”
There are 125 students who completed the project over a four-week period.
“It was very labor intensive,” he said. “They looked at all the designs and then came up with one they would create.
“Math is the hardest subject to get kids excited about. I think the project worked for some kids to be more interactive.”
The students each kept a journal of the project from beginning to end. They wrote their own reflections of how they could use math to help cook food in an atmosphere where the sun was the only available power source.
“We also watched a video to learn about people who would benefit from a solar cooker,” said Lynda Bates.
Kaitlyn Osborn said she enjoyed the project.
“I liked getting to know Mr. Goodman better and all the hands-on activities,” she said.
The food that was heated and served was a tomato basil soup donated by Circle City Soups at the City Market.
Goodman is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and is in the teaching portion of his work at BDU. He observed his first semester.
“I am so happy I got to teach at a small school like this one,” he said. “Most of the other people in the program are teaching at Decatur, Southport, and Ben Davis — which are all good schools. But I do like the small school setting.”
The timing for this project was great since April 22 marked the 43rd Earth Day celebration.
Going back in time, the first Earth Day in 1970 marked the early stirrings of environmental consciousness in the United States. Once the notion took hold, this flowering of the green mindset extended to the world at large.