The CU Community Fab is a cutting-edge, exciting and fun place to work. Our hiring patterns vary by time of the year and programs and grants, feel free to get involved as a volunteer to be the first to hear about future opportunities. As a place where a lot of innovation happens the Fab Lab depends on and greatly values cognitive diversity. Therefore we are especially interested in hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds, and kindly encourage all sorts of people to apply.
We will accept and contact candidates on a rolling basis, as we are looking for someone who can begin as soon as possible with the start of fall semester. We will cease taking applicants after September 10th.
Community Technology Educator
The CU Community Fab Lab is seeking one or more Community Technology Educators to help facilitate and design workshops and curriculum with our community partners, including after-school centers, public libraries and public middle schools. This work will be conducted in coordination with NSF-funded research dedicated to investigating the barriers and impacts of makerspace learning in formal and informal settings. It will also occur as part of our mission of public engagement, providing opportunities to underserved learners to develop critical digital literacies.
- This is an academic hourly or extra-help type position, students will be limited to 10 hours a week
- Priority will be given to students enrolled in informatics, the ischool, education or art
- Community Technology Education innovators will be an integral part of the Fab Lab staff, meeting and training with both the university and community engagement teams regularly, as well as collaborating with stakeholders (librarians, teachers, etc) in the community multiple days of the week
- Specifically, work tasks will include one day per week assisting UIUC student patrons at open hours and one or more days running activities with kids at community sites
Applicants will be able to work with mentors on existing curriculum and workshops as well as develop their own, ultimately accumulating portfolio-worthy experience. Includes negotiable hours and access to University assets, such as staff computers and after-hours facility access.
Skills and Qualifications
We understand not every candidate will meet all of these, but wanted to provide a comprehensive list to aspire to! You can build and reinforce nearly all of these skills by working with us, too.
We believe cognitive diversity is required for innovation, therefore we are especially interested in individuals from diverse backgrounds!
- Curiosity, playfulness, empathy and interest in inquiry – the ‘maker DIY/DIWO spirit’
- Strong verbal, multimedia and research communication/documentation skills
- Know-how to engage teens: learn their name and get to know them, establish a rapport and help them guide their own learning; recognizing when kids are paying attention and how they’re feeling
- Crowd control and authority: wrangle groups of teens to listen and comply when needed, but also be a role model and supporter
- Stay on top of multiple events and activities in varying locations with different audiences, using a suite of online communication tools like Google Docs, Calendar and email
- Assemble activities and presentation scripts ahead of time, make sure supporting materials like visual aids and other references are easily accessible for everyone
- Plan sequences of activities that relate to one another that each have identifiable goals and purpose and that can flow well; have contingency plans and be willing to improvise
- Know how to do a ‘reference interview’ to determine patron needs; stay on track by delegating side-tasks/issues to others or putting them in the “parking lot” for later, but also appropriately grabbing questions as teachable moments or impetus for the development of solutions
- Experience creating step-by-step tutorials and lesson plans – logical sequencing to organize ideas and anticipating learner knowledge and needs
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Apps, chat programs like Slack, project management software and basic file management with Windows/OSX and cloud services like Box or Google Drive
- Individuals familiar with qualitative social science research methods will be given priority
- Familiarity with curating and sharing Fab Lab experiences and photos on social media
- Internet-based research and experimentation experience – figure out how to make and break stuff
- Willingness to learn new technologies, techniques and software individually and collaboratively, including games like Minecraft or traditional crafts like sewing
- Other experience like programming or graphic design are not required but are certainly desired
Application Method and Requirements
- First come in for a tour at the Fab Lab (1301 S Goodwin, Urbana) and talk to existing staff and get a sense for what the job and workplace are like (if you haven’t already)
- Submit a resume (pdf or doc) and links to any relevant teaching portfolios, sample curriculum or lesson plans to firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will contact you to setup a time for interview(s)
- Applicants of any educational background are welcome to apply, you must be 18 or older and may need to go through a simple background check
- People of all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious affiliations and ability status are strongly encouraged to apply