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Parts and Crafts -- Community Supported Education

Who are we?

The Parts and Crafts Collective is a group of nerds, thinkers, and state-of-the-art weirdoes who like to think about teaching and learning together, it's a summer camp, and it's a Somerville comunity space, makerspace, and open workshop.

We run classes and workshops and vacation camps and events and project nights. We build things and teach people and cook meals together and hang out and we do our best to connect creative and curious people of all ages to each other.

What is Community Supported Education?

A playful reappropriation of local food distribution methods and terminology, and an experiment in nontraditional market/non-market solutions for meeting community needs. An attempt to keep what's good about the DIY "kit" model while losing some of the more isolating, solitary "hacker alone in his/her basement" stuff. Monthly cool projects for kids and others to play with and do! A way for us to fund project R&D and to extend the community of people that we collaborate with outside of the set of people who want to be working directly with kids.

Every month you get a box – inside the box are a set of projects! Instructions are included, along with basic components for completion. What might show up in your box? Build your own lightsaber! (PVC, LEDs, and battery pack included) Introduction to lockpicking! How to juggle (and how to make your own juggling balls)! Turn your house into a marble run! Bridge building, soft-circuits, stop-motion animation. A variety of exciting things to make and do and think about. Each month we will send out a major project and a couple of smaller projects and experiments. We will create instructions and package any materials that you aren't certain to already have lying around your house.

All of the projects will be developed month-by-month at Parts and Crafts, based on things we’ve tested with kids (or have been developed by kids) in our summer and year-long programs.

The other component to the project is a community website where people can share their projects and progresses. If Instructables is like a DIY amazon.com, then the CSE community website is like a local bookclub.

Funded by Boston, MA (December 2010)