Posted by: Stefan Anderson | May 18, 2010

Diabolical Parabolicals – Smore’ Fun

Kathy Jone’s Precalculus class has taken their study of parabolic functions from the theoretical realm into the practical. Today they tried out the parabolic solar ovens that they built from cardboard, aluminum foil, emergency blankets, and a lot of tape. Their goal was to melt marshmallows in order to create tasty Smore’s – that graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow treat.

Their initial efforts were disappointing. They placed marshmallows at the focal points of their parabolas, but they failed to melt. Then one student suggested that perhaps the white marshmallows were reflecting the heat rather than absorbing it. To test this theory they used the ovens to melt their chocolate bars and then coated the marshmallows with the chocolate. This technique proved successful and before long they had a tasty conglomeration of chocolate and marshmallow wedged firmly between two pieces of graham cracker and in route to satisfying their appetite for sweet treats.

Job, Hannah and Megan with their oven.

Hannah coats the marshmallow with chocolate while Bace and Kath look on.

Ayla with her oven and with a tasty smore'.

Math Teacher Kathy Jones observing her students.

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