The winning teams in a school contest to build an electric oven powered by solar energy received their trophies and cash prizes at Shams Solar Power Company in Madinat Zayed yesterday.
Sixteen schools from Al Gharbia in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region challenged themselves over four weeks to create a safe, working oven powered only by the sun.
Grade 11 and 12 students competed in teams of four, with at least two of the team-members UAE nationals, and a budget of AED500.
The three winning schools who will be showing off their students’ solar-powered cooking technology at The Festival at Masdar City on January 20-21 are: Qatr Al Nada school from Madinat Zayed came in the 1st and 3rd place with two different teams; Al Baya school from Sila came in the second place.
Shams Solar Power Company, operator of the Shams 1 solar power plant, organised the “Solar Oven Challenge” to mark this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which takes place from January 12-21.
The winning team received a cheque for AED10,000. Second-place earned AED5,000 and the school in third received AED2,000. At least half of the winnings must go towards a school project.
To win the challenge, teams had to build an oven that could reach temperatures of between 150 and 200 degrees Celsius for at least one hour. They also had to be able to bake a dish for the judges to eat, and explain how their cash prize would be spent to help their class or school.
“We were amazed at the ingenuity of all the competing teams and extremely impressed that so many school teams took part,” said Abdulaziz Al Obaidli, General Manager of Shams Power Company.
“The Solar Oven Challenge was a fun way to raise awareness of the potential of renewable energy. And there was serious message too, because millions of people around the world don’t have access to reliable and affordable sources of cooking fuel. Solar-powered cooking technology if applied on a wide scale could transform the quality of life of countless people.”