Hubbard Library Showcases Solar Project at Business Journal Daily Conference

HUBBARD, Ohio — Members of the Hubbard Public Library and the Solar education project presented the library’s solar cooker lending program to an international audience last month at the ConsolFood2022 conference.

The virtual event was hosted by the University of Algarve in Portugal from January 24-26. The international conference focuses on advances in solar thermal food processing.

Hubbard Library Director Lorena Hegedus and Adult Services Librarian Nate Dempsey joined Solar Education Project co-founders Jennifer Gasser and Mary Buchenic to share their collaborative project, which lends solar cookers for free to clients and educators. The program “ensures active engagement with solar cooking, energy literacy, and related STEM and interdisciplinary educational activities, consistent with IFLA’s goals of active community engagement and sustainability,” according to a press release.

The library lends three solar cookers through its Library of Things collection: the All American Sun Oven was obtained through a Community Champions grant from Constellation, an Exelon company; the Haines 1 panel oven was provided through a donation from Roger Haines and the Solar Education Project; and the GoSun Sport was obtained through GoSun’s Gifts of Gratitude grant.

The Solar Education Project’s Solar Suitcase, funded by Hubbard Rotary, provides a comprehensive curriculum for use with ovens and includes all supplies needed for experiments and STEM activities.

The presentation focused on the creation and implementation of the program, with the goal of providing a model for forming collaborations to make solar cookers accessible to everyone, according to the release.

Pictured: During the international virtual conference, Mary Buchenic, co-founder of the Solar Education Project; Nate Dempsey, Hubbard Public Library Adult Services Supervisor; Lorena Hegedus, director of the Hubbard Public Library; and Jennifer Gasser, co-founder of the Solar Education Project.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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