Press Inquiries

For press inquires related to the ASU SolarSPELL Initiative, contact:

Abby Johnson

[email protected]

Off-grid, offline digital libraries on Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi News | May 2024

Arizona State University engineering students designed a new Raspberry Pi-compatible charging controller for SolarSPELL’s solar-powered offline libraries.

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ASU nursing graduate determined to be a voice for the voiceless

ASU News | April 2024

“The collaboration of ASU SolarSPELL and my DNP project has not only contributed to the Hopi Tribe’s health literacy and tackled the digital divide but has also affirmed that ASU students can be catalysts for long-term change in Native American health care,” said Aurelia Taylor, an ASU Doctor of Nursing Practice student and member of the Hopi Tribe.

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Press Release: ASU students and staff unveil new hardware for world’s only solar-powered digital library

ASU SolarSPELL Initiative | February 2024

The world’s first — and only — digital library with integrated solar power is getting a compact new design this week, as Arizona State University’s SolarSPELL Initiative unveils new hardware engineered and created by ASU students, faculty and staff.

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SolarSPELL off-grid wireless hotspots

Raspberry Pi News | December 2023

The SolarSPELL (Solar Powered Educational Learning Library) initiative from Arizona State University (ASU) provides digital libraries which are available via solar-powered, offline technology.

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Laura Hosman Ph.D. | Making the world better with technology

The Homeless Romantic Podcast | May 2023

Dr. Hosman talks with host Chris Jeffries about the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on its impact on socio-cultural factors, human development and economic growth.

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Solar-powered libraries help Syrian communities rebuild from war

ASU News | April 2023

Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria educators visit ASU to meet with SolarSPELL team.

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ASU nursing student changing lives across the globe

ASU News | April 2023

Rachel Thompson, an Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation Doctor of Nursing Practice student, traveled to Malawi, Africa, with ASU’s SolarSPELL team to help with the delivery of, and training for, 10 solar-powered digital health libraries to nursing schools there.

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Student-made documentary highlights importance of worldwide literacy

The State Press | April 2023

‘The Sunflower Kids’ aims to address the impact that ASU’s SolarSPELL initiative has had in communities worldwide.

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ASU's SolarSPELL digital libraries help teachers in Ethiopian refugee camps

ASU News | July 2022

Working with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), SolarSPELL libraries were introduced to schools in refugee camps in Ethiopia, where South Sudanese educators were able to deliver lessons in their native Nuer language.

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Volunteers help SolarSPELL get back in action

ASU News | April 2021

Volunteers from the Phoenix Peace Corps Association and SolarSPELL came together April 3 to build dozens of portable, digital SolarSPELL libraries destined for Ethiopia later this year.

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SolarSPELL brought virtual learning resources to South Sudan

The State Press | February 2021

Our in-field partner, EmpowerKids – South Sudan, trained facilitators to take SolarSPELL units to schools in South Sudan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Q&A: How COVID-19 can help reshape access to higher education

Devex | February 2021

This Q&A session with ASU Professor Stefanie Lindquist, Senior VP of Global Academic Initiatives discusses how technology, like SolarSPELL, is used as a solution to provide access to education in remote locations across the world.

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Catalyst: SolarSPELL

PBS’ Arizona Horizon | January 2021

This segment featured SolarSPELL’s work and accomplishments and also includes a behind-the-scenes look at our most recent Build Day

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What A Solar-Powered, Portable Library Looks Like

Forbes | December 2020

The article clearly explained how SolarSPELL works, why there is a need for it, and highlighted our efforts in South Sudan

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Developing an offline digital library for South Sudan - the SolarSPELL Health: nursing and midwifery library

South Sudan Medical Journal | November 2020

Learn more about the SolarSPELL Health: Nursing and Midwifery Library and the work our students and staff have been doing over the last year

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Innovation at ASU: Ranked #1 for the sixth year in a row: Arizona State University

ASUNow | September 13, 2020

ASU featured SolarSPELL and our Peace Corps partnership to exemplify being the most innovative school in the country for the 6th year.

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Acceso a herramientas de aprendizaje digital más importante que nunca

Sentido Común | August 15, 2020

De acuerdo con la Asociación de Internet MX, en 2018, la penetración de internet en México en la población era de 67%. Si bien el acceso ha crecido rápidamente durante los últimos años, principalmente a través de los teléfonos inteligentes, su alcance continúa siendo desigual.

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Peace Corps, Arizona State University Partner to Provide Digital Libraries Across the Globe

Signals AZ | August 2, 2020

The Peace Corps and Arizona State University today announced a new strategic partnership agreement that will advance their shared interest in meeting the needs of learners in remote, offline communities globally by leveraging ASU’s innovative technology, SolarSPELL, a tool to build information literacy and to advance high-quality education.

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Peace Corps, Arizona State University partner to provide digital libraries across the globe

Global Sustainability |  Sustainability Scientists and Scholars| July 13, 2020

A new strategic partnership agreement will advance a shared interest in meeting the needs of learners in remote, offline communities globally by leveraging ASU’s innovative technology, SolarSPELL, a tool to build information literacy and to advance high-quality education. SolarSPELL is directed by ASU Sustainability Scientist Laura Hosman, Associate Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

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ASU, Peace Corps agreement to expand SolarSPELL learning platform's reach

ASUNow | July 10, 2020

The Peace Corps and Arizona State University have signed a strategic agreement that will help Peace Corps volunteers in the field advance their humanitarian work by using an educational device invented by an ASU professor.

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Meet the Finalists of the TPrize 2020 Challenge

Observatory of Educational Innovation | June 1, 2020

On December 20, 2019, Tec de Monterrey and Universidad de Los Andes, with the support of MIT Solve, launched the TPrize 2020 Challenge. This award seeks to encourage entrepreneurs to generate solutions aimed at social and educational problems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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SolarSPELL will bring educational content to a South Sudanese nursing school

State Press | April 16, 2020

The Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery will be provided with educational audio and visual material by SolarSPELL, a technology created by ASU students and professors.

When members of the SolarSPELL team visited Juba last year to assess the school’s needs, there was an immediate interest in supplying offline academic content to the students.

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ASU to help refugees using SolarSPELL technology in Ethiopia

State Press | Feb. 6, 2020

ASU will provide community education for refugees and help with refugee operations in two cities in Ethiopia, ASU’s Education for Humanity initiative announced Jan. 26.

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Distance Learning Without Computers

Campus Technology | Aug. 28, 2019

While online courses can offer the promise of education to a worldwide audience, what happens when the students have neither computing devices nor an internet connection?

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ASU professor's solar-powered library is transforming global education

ASU Now | July 25, 2019

In just five years, an Arizona State University student engineering project has grown into a global humanitarian mission that is now poised to transform the way health care is delivered.

SolarSPELL began when Laura Hosman, an associate professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, challenged her engineering students to create a solar-powered library that would fit into a backpack. Now the initiative has distributed hundreds of digital libraries filled with educational resources to communities in nine countries that have limited or no internet connectivity.

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Refugees in Uganda learn agribusiness through online initiative

ASU Now | June 6, 2019

Education for Humanity offers coursework through SolarSPELL invention

When students in Uganda learn about the principles of agribusiness marketing, they really understand them, because many of them are already selling vegetables as their livelihood.

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ASU students developing off-grid tech to help small farms build resilience to climate change

ASU Now | March 18, 2019

With a growing global population, farmers are working hard to feed the world. Throw climate change into the mix and maintaining a thriving, high-yield farm becomes even harder.

Facing these challenges, it’s important for farmers to monitor soil for conditions such as temperature and moisture level in order to keep crops healthy. Agricultural sensors make it easy for farmers to take these measurements, but the sensors are usually attainable only for industrial farms that can afford the technology and can access electricity and a network connection. Rural small farms don’t always have these luxuries, said Bruce Baikie, a senior sustainability fellow in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

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Students work to deliver SolarSPELL technology to countries in need

State Press | April 5, 2018

An ASU-led project called SolarSPELL is preparing to make a push into more countries while it updates the technology that comes with its devices.

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ASU professor wins PLuS Alliance prize for SolarSPELL innovation

ASU Now | Sep. 3, 2017

Dr. Laura Hosman’s solar-powered digital library brings resources, educational opportunities to remote, off-grid communities

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PLuS Alliance Prize 2017 | Winners Announcement

PLuS Alliance | Sep. 3, 2017

The PLuS Alliance Prize valued at USD$50,000 is awarded in two categories; Education Innovation and Research Innovation. Both winners are recognised for the development and implementation of innovative solutions to significant global issues. Additionally, two additional achievements are recognised for Global Leadership and Global Innovation.

PLuS Alliance Prize for Education Innovation winner:

Dr Laura Hosman for The Solar Powered Educational Learning Library (SolarSPELL) said, “It’s a great privilege to be selected as the education innovation winner for the PLuS Alliance Prize this year. SolarSPELL is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people living in remote areas around the world by removing barriers to learning. This distinguished award will help our team continue this important work.

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Solar-powered digital libraries developed at ASU being used worldwide

ABC15 | Aug. 7, 2017

It might not look incredibly high-tech or that this small box could really change how things are taught in the classroom, but it can and it already is.

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SolarSPELL Featured on Cronkite News

Cronkite News, Arizona PBS | Feb. 7, 2017 

Cronkite News covered the SolarSPELL initiative in their newscast on Feb. 7, 2017.

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Tonga Volunteers begin piloting a solar-powered, climate-resistant digital library

Peace Corps | Jan. 25, 2017

On December 12, 2016, 17 Tonga Volunteers received introductory training in the use of an innovative technology they will pilot in their schools and communities in the 2017 school year.

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No internet, no power, no problem: ASU solar library empowers schools abroad

ASU Now | Sep. 12, 2016

Many islands in the Pacific Ocean lack two things that are essential for accessing information and performing educational pursuits: a library and the internet.

Without this access, many teachers are without strong lesson plans or curriculum and community members lack books and multimedia.

But a new Arizona State University faculty member has figured out a way to deliver a digital library that doesn’t depend on existing internet connectivity — rather, it comes with its own Wi-Fi hotspot.

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Solar Powered Library Helps Remote Students

VOA News | March 23, 2016

Alexis Cullen works as a volunteer in Vanuatu, one of the Peace Corp’s most remote postings.

In the village where she works, called Naviso, some people have never heard of the Internet. That is not uncommon in the South Pacific, where some people have limited access to learning resources.

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