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Can you bake cookies on the dashboard of a car?



  It is well known that cars heat up when left in the sun. Normally hot cars are associated with Summer weather, but in this experiment we are going to see whether a car will get hot during a mild Autumn day. To test our theory we are going to try to bake a batch of cookies on the dashboard of a car on a sunny 26C day.

Equipment
1 x Car dashboard
1 x Batch of cookie dough
1 x Cookie tray
1 x EL-USB-1
 

Method 
The car was parked in the sun so as to “preheat the oven”. At the same time the EL-USB-1 datalogger was placed in the car to measure ambient temperature. The cookie dough was prepared as per the instructions and placed onto the tray. The tray was then placed on the dashboard as level as possible and the cookies were left until they appeared cooked.

Figure 1: Cookies baking on the dashboard at a warm 85C

Results and discussion
The temperature in the car jumped up quite quickly. Within 20 minutes the temperature had increased by 20C and within an hour it was up to 85C. 

Figure 2: Graph showing car air temperature with respect to time


Figure 3: The finished product after 2 and a half hours

The cookies were left in the car for approximately 2 and a half hours at which point the cookies looked as though they were cooked. The cookies were relatively solid and held their shape well. They did not taste as good as cookies cooked in an oven taste, but they still had a crispy outer and a soft interior. The most notable result from the experiment was the speed at which a car left in the sun can heat up, even on a relatively cool day.

If you would like to discuss this experiment further please contact one of our friendly Scientists via email or phone on 1300 737 871.
  

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