Since the Roswell Firelabs Makerspace officially opened in May of this year, business has been booming! On average, the makerspace hosts about three to five classes on a variety of subjects every week. The woodshop and sewing programs have exploded thanks to equipment donations and member interest. More and more people are joining the makerspace all the time. The Firelabs has been fortunate to call Roswell home.
Becoming a member isn’t the end of the road, though. It certainly can be, but it doesn’t have to be. The Roswell Firelabs is run entirely by volunteers and, as such, is always looking for those who want to get more involved. Two of the easiest ways to do that are to teach classes or become an Authorized Trainer.
Teaching a Class
By the very nature of being a makerspace, the Roswell Firelabs is open to any number of class topics. Teachers don’t have to be members, either! Industry professionals or hobbyists with their own set-ups are more than welcome to teach at the space. There is a certain method every class has to go through before being added to the calendar, though.
Firstly, send an email to our events team at email@example.com containing the following information:
Date/Time of the Event
A detailed description of the event
Registration Fee for Members v. Non Members
Materials Cost or Itemized Bill of Materials
Any materials that attendees need to purchase/bring separately from the class registration
Area Needed (Bay/Classroom/Outside, etc.)
Recommended Age Groups
Total Class Number
The submission will be reviewed by the team and approved by the Roswell Firelabs Events Director. Materials will be purchased by the space based on the number of registrations received and the class will be on its way! Teaching classes is available to anyone with a skill to share, but it isn’t limited just to those wanting to share their knowledge. There are plenty of reasons to teach a class at the Firelabs.
Why Teach a Class at the Roswell Firelabs?
Covering Equipment Costs
Some equipment is very pricey. The Firelabs has been fortunate enough to have several very generous donors when it comes to equipment, but that doesn’t mean just anything can be bought at the drop of a hat. If there’s an interest in equipment that the makerspace doesn’t have yet, a great way to raise funding is to offer a class on the functions of that equipment. The funds from the class, or sometimes classes, can then be put toward purchasing that piece of equipment. The best part? Once the item has been brought into the makerspace, it is available to any member trained to use it!
Meeting New People
One of the best ways to meet people interested in the same things you are is to offer a class on that subject. Everyone from novices to experts sign up for classes, but they’re all people who want to learn more and talk about the subject of the class. A community-driven space like the Firelabs is meant to bring people together, but that only works if people talk to one another. With a constantly growing number of members, all with their own schedule, it’s easy to miss people who just don’t happen to be at the space at the same time. Hosting a class is a great way to bring them together.
Of course, the Roswell Firelabs is always very appreciative of those who want to teach classes simply for the sake of sharing the knowledge and skills they already have. It’s exciting to watch other people learn something new or create something they never thought possible! To be able to introduce a new interest to someone is a wonderful feeling. Sharing knowledge is one of the cornerstones the entire makerspace movement is built upon.
Classes are a great way to provide group training. Roswell Firelabs operates on a culture of peer-to-peer training and skill validation. The goal is to foster a culture of “safety first”. All members are responsible for their own safety and for complying with the requirements of this policy. This is because a lot of the equipment in the space can be very dangerous if used incorrectly.
Members must complete a tool checklist prior to operating equipment unsupervised. The member must:
Attend training, either individual or group
Complete the tool checklist under supervision
Get the checklist approved by an authorized trainer (AT)
Hard copies of each checklist are stored behind each red book in each room. One-on-one training and tool approval must be scheduled by contacting the special interest group(SIG) owner, found on the member board.
Becoming an Authorized Trainer
An authorized trainer is someone who not only knows how to use the equipment in the makerspace but has completed the requirements and gained approval to train others on it as well. The Roswell Firelabs’ core purpose is to share knowledge and interests, which means there is always an opportunity to learn more and be taught. There isn’t a limit to how many ATs the Firelabs can have. In a perfect world, every member would be one! The process to become one is fairly easy as well.
Authorized Trainers are expected to:
Attend a Training the Trainers class session
Indicate which SIG they desire to be an AT for (Woodshop/3D Printing/etc.)
Partner with a mentor, usually the SIG leader, to go through the skills checklist
Go through the training themselves
Demonstrate to their understanding by ‘training’ their mentor
Being an AT doesn’t mean knowing every little thing about every piece of equipment in the Firelabs. It means having a solid grasp of the basics for most of the equipment within their chosen SIG area and an understanding of the safety regulations of that equipment. The Roswell Firelabs places huge importance on member safety. The last thing anyone wants is someone getting hurt.
For more information about teaching a class or becoming an AT, check out the Roswell Firelabs Wiki page!