Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Volunteer!

We depend on volunteers to help make sure our Fab Lab continues to be a community-oriented space. After patrons have visited a few times they are welcome to get involved as a volunteer. We believe strongly in a model of mentorship, so that volunteers have pathways for guidance and connection. Benefits can include gaining valuable experience and technical skills, networking and social capital, creating showcase items for a portfolio or resume and, of course, new ways to have fun and be part of our community. After one year of working with us volunteers can be eligible for free anytime key access to the space as well as advanced materials and equipment.

How to Start?

If you haven’t been to the lab before, we ask that you visit us during open hours to introduce yourself and spend some time in the space prior to applying to be a volunteer. It is also highly encouraged that you try out some basic projects and learn some of the tools to see if you want to work in the space – if you’re stuck on ideas, you can check out our tutorial portal.

  1. Once you’ve visited the lab and introduced yourself to us, you can fill out our application form and email it to us at communityfablab@gmail.com, or submit it in-person.
  2. Our volunteer coordinator will get in contact with you to set up a time to meet for a volunteer interview. This will let us get to know you a bit more, and find the best staff or volunteer mentor for you and your interests based on what you want to get out of the experience. The work you’ll do as a volunteer highly depends on your own interests and skills – you may help patrons during open hours, help maintain the space, develop social media presence and tutorials, or work on special projects. Your mentor and volunteer coordinator will meet with you to discuss your goals as a volunteer, and to plan any training.
  3. Begin your volunteering! You will be scheduled for volunteer shifts during open hours, guided by your mentor who will help you reach your goals in training and give you work as necessary.
Virginia McCreary, Volunteer

Not ready to be a regular volunteer?

You can start by guiding your own path of involvement. There are several ways this might happen:

  • Hang out in the lab, meet people, work on projects
  • Learn how some of the tools work and help others to use them
  • Find us on Facebook or YouTube and share pictures and videos of creations as well as events and insights
  • Share tutorials for projects and techniques with our Google Doc template – email us the link when you’re done!
  • Collaborate with us to bring in an organization or group you’re connected to for a workshop
  • Talk to any of the staff or core volunteers to learn about more ways you can informally help out during open lab