[57north-discuss] [wmacfarl at gmail.com: [hackerspaces] One Lightsaber Per Child]

Iain R. Learmonth irl at debian.org
Sun Dec 13 16:38:43 GMT 2015

Hi All,

Potential idea for a workshop.


----- Forwarded message from William Macfarlane <wmacfarl at gmail.com> -----

Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2015 18:09:49 -0500
From: William Macfarlane <wmacfarl at gmail.com>
To: contact <contact at partsandcrafts.org>
Subject: [hackerspaces] One Lightsaber Per Child

   Dear friends, comrades, hackers, punks, makers, weirdoes, etc:  please
   spread the word as far and wide as you consider reasonable, given the
   Parts and Crafts Presents: One Lightsaber Per Child
   We are excited to finally be offering DIY light[emitting-diode] saber
   kits for sale again after a very long hiatus.  At the moment these kits
   are primarily available for purchase at Parts and Crafts in Somerville,
   but a limited number are available mail-order through our “Give One,
   Get One” program.  Every kit purchased through this program goes
   towards funding a free lightsaber building workshop with one of our
   partner Somerville community organizations.
   To purchase a light[emitting-diode]saber kit for pick-up, or through
   the “Give One, Get One” program, visit our store --
   All of our instructions are open source projects licensed under the
   CERN Open Hardware License, version 1.2 which is available here --
   Printed instructions for kit assembly come with the kit, but a digital
   version is available here --
   The kit contains a number of pieces that we have manufactured or
   prepared in some way, but they are all relatively simple to acquire and
   make.  Instructions for making all of the kit components yourself (as
   well as some design notes) can be found here --
   Give One, Get One?
   Parts and Crafts is running a fundraiser.  We're historically very very
   bad at running fundraisers, historically very very bad at accessing
   money or resources that aren't obviously self-made.
   The truth is that we're bad at asking for things.  Mostly we're bad at
   asking for permission, but we're also bad at asking for help (perhaps
   largely because the many uses of money blur the line between the two.)
   But I'm asking now.  If you buy a lightsaber kit at the
   give-one-get-one price, you are not only getting a pretty sweet holiday
   gift for you and yours, you're also giving a kid who wouldn't otherwise
   get the chance to do so, the experience of building and having
   something awesome that they've made for themselves.
   Why do I care??
   Well, I think we're doing something cool.  And I think we're doing
   something that many of you agree is cool.  And good-for-the-world.
   Something that should exist and that there should be more of.
   We run a hackerspace for kids and their friends.  We run an
   alternative-to-school for kids who find themselves in persistent
   disagreement and conflict with the structures of traditional
   schooling.  We run a drop-in, free community open-shop every Saturday
   for anyone, kid or grown-up, who wants to come visit and make something
   and use our tools and ask for our help.  We host the Somerville Tool
   Library -- a lending-library for commonly used hand and power tools.
   We run afterschool programs and school-vacation camps for kids, all on
   a sliding-scale from free to slightly-expensive where we offer kids our
   particular combination of tools, advice, expertise, and autonomy, and
   encourage them to be as awesome as possible.  We act as an event space
   for grown-ups -- we run periodic bike repair nights and crypto-parties
   and random other interesting events.
   We do all of these things with little-to-no institutional/grant support
   -- we fund our programs by asking that people pay for them if they can
   (and asking that they come to them for free if they can't afford to
   pay.)  And we fund our programs by asking ourselves to work long and
   hard and be paid richly in good-feelings and
   having-access-to-cool-things, and having a sense of ownership of your
   job and your purpose in life, but somewhat poorly in actual-currency
   (which the landlords around these parts still demand, unfortunately.)
   It's hard to run programs for free when you don't have any money.  And
   it's difficult to push really hard on making sure people who don't have
   any money know about your programs, and know that they can come to them
   at little-to-no-cost when you're looking at the spreadsheet trying to
   figure out how the negative numbers and positive numbers can sum to
   We run fundraisers to make this part easier for us -- we run
   fundraisers so that we can do the outreach to low-income communities we
   need to do to make our work optimally meaningful without needing to
   worry too much about how much this outreach will affect our fiscal
   So if you can support us, thank you, thank you very much.  Our work
   isn't possible without friends and helpers and generosity.  And if you
   can't, well, we understand carry on and stay awesome and do your best.


   1. http://store.partsandcrafts.org/
   2. http://www.ohwr.org/documents/294
   3. https://partsandcrafts.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Lightsaber-Instruction-Pamphlet.indd_.pdf
   4. https://partsandcrafts.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Howtomakealightsaberkit.pdf
   5. http://www.partsandcrafts.org/

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