Public Lab Research note

Develop Community Kits with Public Lab!

by Bronwen | December 06, 2017 15:03 06 Dec 15:03 | #15318 | #15318

The Kits Initiative is opening our doors to projects from around the world by launching a Community Kits program!

This is designed to support the creation of new tools, kits and resources by inviting designers, developers, researchers, tinkerers, community organizers, inventors (and anyone else who is interested) to consider working with the Public Lab Kits Initiative to develop, produce and distribute your Open Source research tools!

Over the next few months we'll be working with a handful of people to source new affordable, DIY, open source environmental monitoring kits in our store: expanding resources and opportunities to help people get involved with community science.

We have built the infrastructure to help connect environmental research kits to communities who need them, and we'd love to partner with you to help put tools in the hands of even more people.

What is a Kit?

Since 2012 our community has developed tools for aerial mapping, sensing, monitoring and analysis, which have been used by community researchers around the world. While many of our kits make use of low-cost electronics and sensors, a kit can combine any set of resources and methodologies for research, analysis and engagement. Do you have an idea for a great research method, handbook, tool for visualizing, sampling, remediating, or anything else that can help us all engage with science in our communities? Do you have an idea for something that deserves to be developed? Are you excited about making your designs accessible so that others can get involved? If so, you and your ideas might be a great fit for our Community Kits Program.

What does it mean to get involved with Public Lab's Community Kits program?

Our goal is to help you create a kit that can be put into production and distributed to communities around the world! Participating in Public Lab's Community Kits means that interested tool developers have a framework for introducing and developing their kits with the Public Lab community by posting research notes, documentation, questions, and replications. You might just be starting the prototyping process, or you might be ready to build research methodologies and documentation around a proven tool. We can help you with practical considerations (sourcing or producing parts, promoting your projects, working with the community to troubleshoot hardware or software issues) and help to connect with the people who want to use these tools for their own work.

How do I get started?

To join the program, just start sharing your ideas on the website, and then join staff and community members on an Open Call on Tuesdays to talk through your project. Questions? Submit them here and stay tuned for more details.

Community Kits participants will also ensure that their work is open source, affordable, and accessible. More information about the checklist for contributors can be found here.


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