marshmallows and mirrors

Mirrors, magnifying glasses, and thermometers in hand, the Hawks ventured outside to conduct a very kid-friendly experiment: roasting a marshmallow using only the sunlight.

The kids played around with which surface to place the marshmallow on it make it heat. Lola suggested a small metal bucket, and Ben and Quinn thought a mirror would be best.


Aurora and Bruno experimented with magnifying glasses to see how the light expanded and condensed on the marshmallow to conduct heat.


Natasha, Lola, and Lucy wanted to double the intensity of the light coming at the marshmallow, so used a set of mirrors to direct light onto another row of mirrors to make things hotter.


Clementine’s idea was to light the pile of tinder below the marshmallow to create a fire that would do the roasting. Mackenzie reports that Ben brought out a glass of water just in case of an uncontrolled burn.


Mackenzie says that the marshmallow never roasted, but it did reach 106 degrees Fahrenheit!


She said that the Hawks had a few ideas about their next iteration: more careful placement of mirrors so the light would hit all the same spot, more magnifying glasses to intensify light, and perhaps a reverse disco ball that would concentrate light instead of disperse it. We’ll have to see what they come up with!