Solar energy is a low-cost technology that can be used to heat homes, power lights, and even boil water/cook food. This cool science fair project from Quinton Stowell of SunSpot explores harnessing the sun's energy for cooking and, for middle school students interested in engineering (specifically in energy and power), is sure to be a fun project to check out!
You've probably seen various projects floating around the web that use a cardboard box and aluminum foil to create a solar oven. What's cool about Quinton's project is that it makes use of an umbrella as a base for the portable solar grill! A fun new twist and great way to give an existing product a new purpose!
At his project page you'll find a list of needed materials as well as directions for creating your own “sunbrella” (as he calls it). To make this into a complete science fair project, you'll need to select an aspect/feature of the sunbrella to improve and test.
While this project uses a traditional box-oven, the research questions, background information, and project set-up might help guide/inspire your project!