Solar Powered Educational Learning Library

What is SolarSPELL?

SolarSPELL is a Solar Powered Educational Learning Library: a digital library over an off-line WiFi hotspot, designed to simulate an online experience. Making use of open educational resources and ever-smaller and more efficient technology, SPELL provides an all-in-one, self-powered plug-and-play kit, ready to be deployed with absolute minimal training or maintenance required for start-up and continued operation.

This project’s goal is to support education in all subject areas and enable the development of Internet-relevant skills, by providing access to books, videos, and other valuable educational content through an offline digital library, including content specifically curated for the Pacific Islands.  This project is an initiative led by Prof. Laura Hosman.

The SolarSPELL library (2017 version) consists of:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Microcomputer
  • 64 GB SD Card pre-loaded with open-access educational content
  • 10W Eco-Worthy Solar Panel
  • Voltage Regulator
  • 10,000 mAh Rechargeable Rav-Power Battery
  • Micro USB Connector Cords

Bill of Materials: Here is a link to our 2016 Bill of Materials

Bill Of Materials Solar SPELL 2016

How to Build a SolarSPELL

Check out our step-by-step detailed instructions, hosted on iFixit, on how to build a SolarSPELL yourself! Click on the image below, or here

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 3.56.33 PM

Implementation of first 100+ libraries

We have teamed up with the US Peace Corps in the Pacific Islands: to date, in Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Samoa, and Tonga. Peace Corps volunteers in the Pacific Islands are stationed at remote, rural schools for two years, and have a mission to teach English and where possible, technology in the schools. We believe this solar digital library provides a synergistic approach to the Peace Corps volunteers’ educational responsibilities, particularly when introducing technology into schools for the first time.

To date, SolarSPELL team members have traveled to FSM, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Samoa in 2015-2017 to carry out training with the Peace Corps volunteers and deploy the first 200+ SPELL libraries—but that is just the first step! Our project will incorporate feedback from the field into future improvements, as we look to expand and scale across the Pacific Islands, and beyond, in the coming years.

The SPELL libraries have been designed and built by students.

Please check out our blog posts on the home page to keep up with our progress!