Solar Oven- Cheap Beer and Chicken Wings

PROJECT:  Cheap Beer and Chickenwings is building a solar oven that is designed so a disabled, or elderly member of the family/community will be able to operate and maintain their usefulness to their family/community.  The solar oven will rotate and follow the sun and be able to boil water.


NEED:  In the summer of 2011, NPR (National Public Radio) did a report on health risks in developing nations.  The focus of this report was an increase in lung related diseases from people living in rural areas cooking over open fires.  This open-fire cooking was releasing toxins into their living areas and the people were breathing this polluted air on a daily basis.  Many of these people do not have access to electricity to cook with or they have limited service.  In addition to the release of toxins from the open-fire cooking, many areas are being deforested to provide fuel to cook with.
Our team sees the need for an inexpensive solar oven that is easy to use and durable enough for repeated use.  We have a basic model built by one of our teams nephew for his eight grade science class.  We plan to improve on his basic design.  Our solar oven will due to the nature of this project be more complex to meet the grade requirements.
        Another need we hope to satisfy is for an elderly person or someone with a disability that is unable to do intense manual labor can attend to the solar oven and feel like a contributing member of their family.  Also, having this person there will support safety issues with burning and intense heat that goes with solar ovens.  This person will listen for a timer which will be activated via a NXT device every hour.  Each hour they will rotate the device 15 degrees by turning a handle or crank device.
We believe we are meeting both a society/environment need and improving something that already exists.


Anne L:  The GISE/GEMS coach at Sullivan/Anishinabe, I have been teaching for 26 years.  I am a National Board Certified Teacher, hold a masters degree and will be working toward a PHD when I can find the time and afford it (first one’s in college this fall).  I come from a family who’s motto is, “When In Doubt, Go Back To School.”  

During the day I’m into books (Literacy Coach) but when 3:30 arrives, I’m problem solving coach.  “How do you think, we should solve it?”  “Try it.”  I want my students to find, discover, etc the answer because I know their is not one answer.  The possibilities are limitless. I brought a very good work ethic, committment to get the job done, and flexible thinking to our team.

Jeff Tousignant:  I am the son of Rick and Vicki, a husband to Kate, a very excited father of Ben and Emma and a teacher of hundreds of Minneapolis students.  I have been teaching for 16 years.  Thirteen of those years have been as a middle grades math teacher.  I received my teaching degree from the University of MN, Morris (go Cougars), and my master’s degree from St. Thomas University in curriculum and instruction.  This is my third year coaching GEMS/GISE at Lake Harriet and I am excited to be working with ST. Kates’s in this program.  When I’m not at school I enjoy being with my family.  We love taking walks, and riding our bikes.  I also enjoy golfing and playing softball with my friends.   I contributed to our team with my mathematics background, good attitude, and movie making skills.

Gino Marchetti:  I have been teaching for 22 years.  Most of it at Lake Harriet, aka, Fulton.  I graduated from North Central University, Mpls. and earned my masters at St. Thomas in curriculum and instruction.
I have been married to Linda for almost 21 years after meeting in the Air Force Reserves.  We have two children and they are both attending the U of M here in town.  My daughter is majoring in chemical engineering and my son is majoring in Spanish and ESL.  We are empty nesters!  Well, almost.
Jeff and I have been both coaching FLL for three years and are really enjoying it.  
For fun my wife and I bowl, although not well.  Jeff is giving me hints and that will be paying off soon.
So far the St. Kate’s program has been a ton of work, but the challenge has been wonderful and exciting.
I will be bringing to the team a working understanding of machines and some electronics from my Air Force and appliance repair days. I also love to tinker with things that are not working and I love to make things work more efficiently, both things and systems.
Michael Cain:  This is my second year of coaching FLL in the after-school program at Emerson Elementary School.  I was born and raised in Seattle, spent four years in the Air Force, one of those years in Vietnam. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Theatre. My wife Karen and I have spent over 37 years together, most of them married. We have two children, Dan, a crab fisherman, and Liz, an artist.  In my free time I write plays and play chess. I brought my experiences as an amateur astronomer (I built my own reflecting telescope) as well as my hobby of building lego robots and creative imagination to our team.