[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
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.
Discuss mailing list
Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
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