On Saturday, March 30th, 2019, an impassioned group of ASU students, staff, friends, family, and alumni came together on ASU’s Tempe campus to assemble SolarSPELL digital libraries. As part of this year’s Emerge: A Festival of Futures, this build was held in an inflatable dome on the Old Main Lawn, making this build the project’s most unique yet! Three groups of highly motivated volunteers, led by student build master Amber Kanechika, built 60 SolarSPELL digital libraries that will go out to Fiji, South Sudan, Kenya, and Arizona!

After giving an overview presentation on the project’s history and technology, Dr. Laura Hosman assisted volunteers in connecting to the digital library, many for the first time! During this presentation and demo, the SolarSPELL team was busy ensuring that each build station was prepped and ready for volunteers who were eager to begin the build in the bubble!

Volunteers then jumped right in to their assigned station to begin assembling SolarSPELL digital libraries! At each station, volunteers had the opportunity to participate in various hands-on activities including wire-stripping, soldering, Velcro-ing, assembling Raspberry Pi’s, cutting, heat-shrinking, and laminating.

During each build, Emerge Festival guests were also given SolarSPELL demo’s outside the dome by SolarSPELL staff!

Although this build was unlike any build in the history of the project, a few things remained true to builds of the past: volunteers and staff still carried on conversations, engaged in laughter, and became more familiar with one another and the SolarSPELL project.

Together, SolarSPELL volunteers and staff built 60 SolarSPELL digital libraries, thus doing their part to improve educational opportunities around the world!

Special thanks to Bailey De La Torre for taking these photos and for writing this post.