75 New SolarSPELLs Built!

IMG_20160504_133254977_HDR

On Friday May 6, 2016, students at Cal Poly built 75 new SolarSPELL libraries! What’s more, this feat—which included drilling, wire-stripping, soldering, gluing, taping, Velcro-ing, and much more, was accomplished in just a few hours.

DSCF6667

DSCF6663DSCF6676

The group did, in fact, get a jump-start on the build on Wednesday, May 4, having had the opportunity to set up all of the equipment, describe and train on what needed to be done in terms of assembly and building, and identify any potential bottlenecks for the assembly-line manufacture that would take place on Friday.

IMG_20160504_133246165_HDR

DSCF6659

DSCF6674

IMG_20160506_135746749

These SPELL libraries are destined for schools in Samoa, Tonga, and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). In all three locations, we are working in partnership with the US Peace Corps, to provide their Volunteers with this educational technology to assist them in being able to carry out their mission of being teachers in remote, rural schools.

IMG_20160506_190342662

On the same evening of the build, the University hosted a gala evening for alumni, called the Evening of Green and Gold. SolarSPELL was invited to set up a display and speak to alumni about the project’s accomplishments.

DSCF6726

DSCF6712

Even though the build was exciting and fostered a sense of accomplishment, there remains quite a bit more to be done besides building the hardware of the library. After the build, the students transitioned to working on gathering additional content for the library (especially content curated for our new partners Samoa and Tonga), testing out the new website, building a new-and-improved how-to-use guide.

IMG_20160506_141211872

We look forward to deploying the first batch of the new SPELLs in Samoa in June!

Posted in Cal Poly, Micronesia, Pacific Islands, Peace Corps, Samoa, Solar Digital Library, Tonga | Leave a comment

Voice of America features SolarSPELL on Learning English News Program

The Voice of America featured the SolarSPELL digital library in a recent news article on its website.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 3.31.58 PM

Vanuatu Peace Corps volunteer Alexis Cullen, Peace Corps ICT4D Program Officer Gabriel Krieshok, and Prof. Laura Hosman were interviewed for the article. The article also features links to videos on the SolarSPELL website.

Posted in Cal Poly, Pacific Islands, Peace Corps, Solar Digital Library | Leave a comment

Two Videos on SolarSPELL from Cal Poly’s Mustang News

Mustang News, the award-winning on-campus source for media about California Polytechnic State University, has released two videos about the SolarSPELL project.

The first video (above) gives an overview of the library and the project (up to now).

The second video covers the Appropriate Technology Workshop and Build Day that was held in October 2015, when Cal Poly students from across the campus came together and built 30 SolarSPELL libraries in one afternoon.

 

Posted in Cal Poly, Micronesia, Pacific Islands, Solar Digital Library, Solar Power, Vanuatu | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment