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Parts and Crafts:  Community Supported Education's video poster

We run a workshop for kids who like to make stuff and their friends. Each month we'll box up and ship "shares" of our projects/ideas. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on March 1, 2011.

We run a workshop for kids who like to make stuff and their friends. Each month we'll box up and ship "shares" of our projects/ideas.

About this project

We're the Parts and Crafts Collective! We run a kids' hackerspace, makerspace, and community workshop in Somerville, MA. where we help kids and their friends make their ideas and projects into events and objects. We'd like to help you, too!

What's a CSE?

It's a box of projects! Riffing on the idea of Community Supported Agriculture, where you buy into a farm and receive a box of veggies every week, we'll be sending out a monthly box of stuff -- craft, technology, and engineering projects -- to make and do. Each box will include materials, instructions, ideas, links to further research -- a semi-curated snapshot of what we're up to each month.

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! 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 likely 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.

Where does the money go?

The project will provide the seed funds for kit development and will give us a place to test out our ideas –everyone who subscribes will get a “share,” and we’ll get a chance to see how the kits work, and how to adapt them as the year progresses. We’d hope to have at least 100 people sign up to get kits, and use Kickstarter as a way to gauge interest and share ideas for the project.

Any additional funds will go towards supporting the grand dream -- a year-round open workshop for kids, where kids, adults, and creative people can drop in to work on projects, acquire new tools and skills, and work together to make things, and make things happen.

What's the target age range for your kits?

The kits, like most of our programs, will be aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 12 (perhaps requiring a bit of parental guidance on the lower end), but will be projects that we, as curious and playful adults, find compelling as well.

As we grow all of our programs, we want to expand into doing more work with teens. If a similar program for teens and young adults seems interesting to you, let us know and we'll consider starting something like it after we get this off the ground.

Shipping, Local Pickup, Build-Parties

Base rates for the CSE are based on local pickup in the Somerville area, where every month we'll host a build party in our workshop for CSE subscribers to pick up their kits and work on their projects together. Details on this to follow!

If you're interested in setting up a build day in your school, workshop, hackerspace, girl/boy scout troops, but don't live in the Somerville area, send us an email! We'd love to help you start such a thing in your own area.

We're happy to ship to anywhere in the United States for an additional $5 per box (it's slightly higher than, say, Amazon, because we don't currently have bulk shipping and aren't quite sure how much stuff is going to weigh) We can talk about international shipping but think that the costs would probably make it not-particularly-worthwhile to you.

(If you made a pledge before we added this note expecting to have your boxes delivered to you, don't worry! As our very first supporters, we're perfectly happy to give you a shipping discount!)


And, because the long list of options on the righthand side of the screen is confusing, here's the subscription cost breakdown:

1 month -- $30 local pickup, $35 with shipping
3 months -- $90 local pickup, $105 with shipping
6 months -- $150 local pickup, $180 with shipping
12 months -- $250 local pickup, $300 with shipping

Thanks to everyone who checked out this page and took a look at the video! Thanks also to Jonah Dempcy for writing an amazing song (“Humans in Universe”) and putting it under a Creative Commons License, and to Mike Chaput, flickr user 427, for doing the same with a photograph of a delicious looking box of veggies.

Lastly, many thanks to Sprout, for use of the photo of the as-yet-unreconstructed Streetbeest -- and to Alec and Shaunalynn, for spearheading reconstruction in the basement of Parts and Crafts. We encourage you to check out their work!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    8 backers

    An envelope full of zine-style project instruction books and some pretty great Parts and Crafts stickers. Nothing too fancy, printing-wise, but some good, fun ideas! We'll include this stuff in all of the higher priced rewards as well.

  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    10 backers

    One of our hand-printed t-shirts OR posters -- "Parts and Crafts -- Making Things and Making Things Happen", or the unbranded, totally awesome "Take Something Apart"/Little Red Schoolhouse design + a handful of instructions printed for some of our cool projects!

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    2 backers

    DIY Lightsaber Kit -- the centerpiece project for our first CSE box. Everything you need to make yourself an LED lightsaber, like so many kids have done with us at camp! A great thing to have lying around the house, and a very satisfying introduction to hands-on electronics projects.

  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    11 backers

    You get our first complete CSE box -- including the lightsaber kit and oh-so-much more! This is for local pickup in Somerville where we'll have a build-party each month.

  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    19 backers

    Have your CSE shipped directly to your home! If you want us to ship internationally we can talk about that, but we'll probably have to tack on an additional cost.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    2 backers

    The first month's CSE box, a lot of thanks, and a little bit of attention! Want some suggestions on the best non-food microwaveable substances? Curious about where to get dry ice? Want to start a summer program but have a few questions? Write us an email and we'll give you our best answers (though, to be fair and honest, if you write us an email, even without giving us money, we'll still do our best to be helpful)

  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    13 backers

    A 3-month subscription to the Community Supported Education project -- (that is, a box of projects, ideas, and tinkering materials each month for three (3) months!), and a t-shirt for good measure. "Take Something Apart" or "Making Things and Making Things Happen"

  • You selected
    Pledge $105 or more

    10 backers

    Can't do local pickup? A 3-month subscription (plus T-shirt!), shipped anywhere in the United States.

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    7 backers

    A 6-month subscription to the CSE (six (6) months/boxes of fun!) and your very own Parts and Crafts themed t-shirt

  • You selected
    Pledge $180 or more

    5 backers

    Can't do local pickup? A 6-month subscription to the CSE (six (6) months/boxes of fun!) shipped to your doorstep and your very own Parts and Crafts themed t-shirt!

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers

    One-year (12 months) local-pickup subscription to the CSE -- a box every month for one year. It's very likely that your age will increase by one in the space of time between you receiving your first box from us and your last one! Also a t-shirt, which you can wear as often as you like for as long as you like!

  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    2 backers

    A one-year subscription to the CSE with shipping to anywhere in the United States

  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    0 backers

    Have a cool idea but don't know what to do with it? We'll work with you to turn a small-scale project or idea that you've been thinking about into a set of instructions and a kit of parts! We'll work together to come up with a good project, but think about things on the scale of DIY lightsabers and soda-bottle water-rocket photography (plus a one-year CSE subscription, shipping if you want it, a t-shirt, and everything listed above)

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    Parts and Crafts comes to you! In addition to a one-year CSE subscription, we'll teach a weekend-long (or otherwise 2-day)workshop on a topic of mutual interest in the space of your choice! (If the space of your choice isn't within 100 miles we'll also ask that you cover travel expenses unless we can schedule your workshop for a time when we'll just happen to be in your hometown anyway). Topic and audience are up for discussion!

    Possible topics include:
    *Hands-on Learning, Hands-off Teaching: tinkering for educators
    *Computer Programming for Kids, Artists, and the Rest of Us
    *How to Start a Summer Camp
    *Music Experiments and Experimental Music

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    You've just paid for a counselor to work five weeks at camp! 4-day workshop on a topic of your choosing (travel considerations the same as above) and a year-long CSE subscription.

Funding period

- (44 days)