Hubbard Library Presents Solar Project at Conference

HUBBARD, Ohio — Members of the Hubbard Public Library and the Solar Education Project presented the library’s solar oven lending program to an international audience last month during the ConsolFood2022 conference.

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

Hubbard Library Director Lorena Hegedus and Nate Dempsey, adult services librarian, joined Solar Education Project Co-Founders Jennifer Gasser and Mary Buchenic to share their collaborative project, which lends solar cookers for free to patrons and educators. The program “ensures active engagement with solar cooking, energy literacy, and related STEM and cross-curricular educational activities, in keeping with the IFLA goals regarding 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 secured through a Community Champions grant from Constellation, an Exelon Company; the Haines 1 Panel Oven was provided through a donation from Roger Haines and Solar Education Project; and the GoSun Sport was secured through GoSun’s Gifts of Gratitude Grant.

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

The presentation covered inception and implementation of the program, with the goal of providing a template for forming collaborations to make solar cookers accessible to all, according to the release.

Pictured: Presenting during the international virtual conference were Mary Buchenic, co-founder Solar Education Project; Nate Dempsey, Hubbard Public Library adult services supervisor; Lorena Hegedus, Hubbard Public Library director; and Jennifer Gasser, co-founder Solar Education Project.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.