March 30th, Good Friday, is a day off from Somerville Public Schools. We are running a one day camp, called Awesome Friday Camp. A full day of making, tinkering and playing at Parts and Crafts. Friday, March 30th 9-3pm. $75. Early and Late care are available. Slots are limited, so register soon.
An evening of nerdy trivia, Star Wars, and DIY building. We’ll have lightsaber kits for sale — take it home or build it on the spot! — as well as a variety of swag to support Parts and Crafts programs.
Lightsaber Build from 6-8pm, trivia 8-10pm, party all night long!
Free drink ticket with every kit, all sales go to support free and reduced cost STEM programming for kids in Somerville. Come out and support our holiday fundraiser!
Each month we hold a build day for our monthly kits. Subscribers can pick up kits or people who aren’t subscribers can buy kits for $30. Everyone is invited to work on their kits with us in the space on this day. January 28th 1-3pm.
This was really, really fun.
As part of the class “Kitchen Science” we made delicious ice cream using compressed CO2. No icy, home-made tasting product. No ice cream mixer. And because, like myself, the kitchen science crew has zero patience, no waiting.
It was crazy easy to make too. There are three things that you pretty much need to do it though:
- Stand Mixer
- Food processor or a good blender
- Food-grade dry ice
The last item on that list might be easier to get than you think, especially if, like Parts and Crafts, you’re in close proximity to Cambridge, MA. We source our dry ice from Acme Dry Ice and buy a small box of their pellets for around $14. We ended up making two batches of ice cream, using the recipe below, but had a bunch of dry ice left over. In the future I plan on making four batches (2 quarts of heavy cream) to use up all the dry ice.
Dry ice note: There’s food-grade and non-food-grade dry ice out there. Because we’re adding dry ice directly into the ice cream, we really don’t want any contaminants or lubricants from the machinery that compresses the dry ice in our food. I would call and ask your supplier if it’s food grade or not.
How we did it:
- Prep ice cream base. We just did plain ol’ vanilla and chocolate, but anything works: sorbet, sherbet, custard. The recipe that we used was a variation on all the recipes that we saw online and in our cookbooks. We added all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heated until everything was dissolved and looking good.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- For the chocolate ice cream: baking cocoa (although we just threw in a bunch of dark chocolate)
- Grind the dry ice to dust! Dust! Put about 2 cups in a food processor and hit go. Took us about 20 seconds in the Cuisinart.
- Add ice cream base to the mixer, crank it up to medium speed, and slowly add dry ice dust until it looks like ice cream. We made sure that all the dry ice was sublimated before adding more and that all the dry ice was gone before we ate it. And no, you should never eat dry ice! But a small, dust-sized particle remaining will not harm you, just taste like pop-rocks on your tongue.
- Eat! We left it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before scooping, but it tasted great right off the paddle too.
A note on emulsifiers:
We added a pinch of guar gum to half our batches to taste test the results. The proper proportion should be about 0.5% , but we didn’t have a gram scale at the time to make sure. Guar gum acts as a emulsifier and stabilizer in ice cream and also helps prevent the formation of large ice crystals that make ice cream grainy and freezer-burny. I’m not sure we could really taste any difference in the amounts that we added, but when we added a lot (like a tablespoon) of guar to a cup of milk, we made this:
4 sessions, September 10 – October 8, 10-12 am (no class 9/17) $100 REGISTER HERE
A computer programming class that uses Java to structure basic Minecraft mod files to create new blocks, custom items, crafting recipes, etc. Participants don’t need to already know Java, but typing competency is a must. Ages 10 and up
Potions! DIY Chemistry
3 sessions, Saturdays 9/24 – 10/8, 10-11:30 am
$75, REGISTER HERE
Make things bubble, fizz, and change color in this intro chemistry class. We’ll look at phase changes, pH testing, viscosity, and experiment with making goopy, bubbly concoctions. Ages 6-8
Tiny FIMO Food
Saturday September 17, 1-3 pm
$25, REGISTER HERE
Learn how to make tiny food out of polymer clay. Up this month: Sandwiches! Learn how to make tiny replica food that looks good enough to eat. Ages 7-13
Intro to HAM Radio
Saturday September 24, 1-3 pm
$15, REGISTER HERE
Learn the basics of amateur radio licensing and transmission in this hands-on beginner workshop, taught by Brandon Hockle, electronics guru and veteran P&C instructor. All ages welcome.
Storm the Castle! DIY Catapults
Saturday October 15, 10-12 am
$20, REGISTER HERE
Build your own catapult and launch stuff! We’re using a design from www.stormthecastle.com, world’s best resource for medieval replicas of all sorts. Ages 7-13.
Scary FIMO Food
Saturday October 15, 1-3 pm
$25, REGISTER HERE
Following up on September sandwiches: Make scary jack-o-lanterns and Halloween foodstuffs out of polymer clay. Tiny replica food that looks good enough to eat. Ages 7-13
Saturday October 29, 1-3 pm
$15, REGISTER HERE
Going trick-or-treating? Design and sew your own monster-themed bag for holding your Halloween candy! Ages 7-13