Volunteer Meeting to Discuss Education Goals 1/7 or 1/14/23

Hello @SpaceForce!

This is to extend the discussion in the Vision for the Education Program thread.

I’d like to get together with the volunteers at the space to talk through possible ways we can work to train people to act as mentors and consultants for people on their projects. I’m thinking I also want to get a bead on how you all see yourselves fitting into LMN’s educational goals. We’ve focused a lot on classes, which makes sense, but I also think there are ways we can approach our desire to pass on skills outside of that structure. I think LMN will be a richer culture if we can sort out a range of different opportunities.

With that in mind, I want to propose we meet either tomorrow or on January 14 at 3:30 PM to have this meeting. Anyone who is interested, could you let me know if you’re able to make those (and which is preferable)? Some have replied on the original thread, but it was suggested we might want to post something more visible.


I’m available either day. I prefer whichever date works best for folks who want to attend.

Yes tomorrow is good for me

Let’s plan to meet 1/14 at 3:30 PM. Since I know not every volunteer checks the talksite regularly, a week will give people time to notice this is up. It will also give me time to post to the Discord.

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Just wanted to bump this for any volunteers who wanted to join. I’ll be holding a meeting to discuss training volunteers as mentors and consultants, to get thoughts from you on how you see yourselves fitting into LMN’s educational goals, and to touch base with other things I can help with as the education director.

The meeting will be at 3:30 on Saturday, 1/14.

I will try to be there. I’m especially interested in what qualifies one to be a mentor or consultant.

I will be there! But I won’t be able to stay super long

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Hey all,

I want to follow up on this while the meeting is fresh in my mind. Our meeting touched on three main items:

  1. The plan I detailed here:

To this point,@laura_rogers framed this idea well as being intended to foster a culture of skill sharing at the space, with the goal of mobilizing volunteers as a starting place for that culture. We want to:

  • increase the visibility of volunteers as people who can offer informal advice and discussion for projects
  • create more opportunities for volunteers to level up their knowledge
  • help volunteers move into being able to become checkout trainers.

To accomplish this, we’re going to ask shift leaders to work toward encouraging and helping people develop their own skills. We also proposed a training “boot camp” to coincide with a membership drive so that volunteers can be trained to give checkouts with actual potential members. And third, we want volunteers interested in developing their skills to collaborate on projects around the space, so that these can act as ways to become familiar and comfortable with tools.

I want to note that there was a real and valid concern that, as we train checkout leaders we want to avoid the “telephone” problems–we don’t want information about how to use the tools to be diluted through repeat training. To avoid this, area managers will set their standards for who can be a checkout trainer.

  1. The possibility of holding less classes with a less formal form

We want to create opportunities for people to share skills and knowledge that might not fit in a more formal class. With our classes, I want to aim for something that is sustainable, meaning that its something that could be taught a few times a trimester for potentially a longer time. However, people have proposed ideas that I think would be an interesting workshop, but might not make a full class. To that end, we have proposed two possibilities going forward:

A first Fridays event–this would be an event where people would pay to come to the space for a sort of “Trust Us” class. The event would focus on simple, crafty kinds of projects and would be an inexpensive way for people to come to LMN with the idea that they wouldn’t know what it might entail, but we guarantee something cool and fun.

Makerspace Office Hours–@cafwood and @Clifford_Bohm had the idea that we could hold office hours once or twice a trimester. During this, we would open the space to the public and the area managers would be present in their areas to help people learn a key concept or talk through their expertise on something. This would act as a community building event.

  1. Class proposals in general.

We touched briefly on these. Mostly to address the question of what makes a class proposal work. The main takeaway was to reiterate that the proposals aren’t meant as a hoop-jumping exercise, but to help first time teachers articulate what they will do and to make sure the classes fit together in a clear way.

That was basically all we discussed.

Please feel free to add to this, anyone who was at the meeting. I’m also happy to discuss this with people and to continue developing these ideas as we continue. And I want to thank everyone who was at the meeting today for your time and thoughts.

Not sure what all was said here, but does “first Friday” mean first friday of the month? How often would these events happen. And I like the idea of a small event but I’m not really sure what benefit making the focus a surprise would have. If I am going to pay for an activity, even a relatively small amount I’d much rather know what I was getting into.

I love the idea of offering more checkouts and more training to give checkouts.

Yes, we should encourage all members to ask volunteers for project advice and rely on volunteers to give knowledgeable feedback if they are qualified or forward members to area managers and/or qualified members for advice.

Monthly workshops sound great. I would feel better knowing what is being offered before I pay, but my impression is that Vic’s clinic alone would justify my $20. There may be an opportunity to partner with church groups/ cub scouts/girl scouts/youth groups here.

Regular area manager staffed hours sound great, but I am concerned about adding another demand to an unpaid position.

Agreed- classes are a great revenue generating stream and introduction to the facility. We should support and encourage new classes and teachers to the fullest extent. Would it make sense to pay the teachers 20% of the class revenue?

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