North Andover Historical Society

North Andover Historical Society

Solar Energy Technology Helps Historical Society Embrace a Future Rooted in the Past

Since 1913, the North Andover Historical Society has been rooted in history and has served as a beacon of education, preserving Merrimack Valley’s yesteryears. Through the bold vision of its Board of Directors, dedicated staff and volunteers, the Historical Society is now embracing the future, evolving the non-profit education institution as a dynamic place where community learns about innovating the future as it is educated about the past.

A grant from All Points North Foundation will support an interactive exhibit, The Power from the Sun, aimed at middle-school students who were among those impacted by the 2018 natural gas explosion disaster in the tri-town area of Massachusetts. Yet, its lessons are scalable to all ages. With input from the local Youth Development Organization, the solar education program will include technology and installation techniques that not only help engineer the future but economic growth by building a local workforce of the future. Hands-on STEM classes for school and summer will be offered as will classes for the community-at-large on how to go solar at home or at work.

Inspiration for this effort began in 2019 when the Historical Society installed roof mounted solar panels to produce electricity and retrofitted the Stevens Center to net-zero energy housing traditional historical exhibits, a research library, two museum wings and a theater. The solar energy technology exhibit will be a key component of the Energy Alive initiative with the Gallery of Transportation, Industry and Energy.

In addition, solar education will be augmented with lessons learned on how different energy technologies directly impact equity and environmental justice especially among local communities and neighboring disadvantaged and low-income neighborhoods.

Through a dual lens of culture and technology, the past becomes future in an inclusive, community-centric, environmentally friendly approach designed to inspire its visitors to claim a stake in a shared future where sustainability will keep history and energy alive and positively impact people and planet.

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Photo credit: North Andover Historical Society

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