Volunteers make up 99% of the FIRST® workforce. Whether you have a weekend to help, want to mentor a team, have technical or non-technical expertise, there is a volunteer role suited to your unique interest.
FIRST Volunteers make a difference in the lives of young people, helping them to discover the real-world value in science and technology. FIRST Volunteers are people from all walks of life that come together to lead by example in the ways of science, technology, and citizenship.
How do I volunteer to help at an event?
Volunteers sign up at https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_login.aspx.
You will respond to a series of questions for background screening, acknowledge FIRST’s Terms and Conditions, and complete a Consent and Release form. [Note: The following comment is based upon experience signing up last year and could have changed. IF you are asked to pay for the background screening, you do NOT have to do so. FIRST will pay for the background screening if you do not want to pay the $2.]
When you come to the screen titled Volunteer Role Applications, click on the button to apply for an event.
Select the FLL program. Select USA (first option), and Oklahoma. Then click on Search Events.
Select an event, which takes you to a list of roles for the Event. You can choose up to 5 different roles in order of preference. All of the roles are shown below for your reference.
Once you complete the Volunteer Role Application, you will receive an email confirming your selections. The Event Coordinator will make a final assignment based on roles still needing to be filled and inform you of the role s/he chose for you.
Details about the roles:
Many people are afraid to volunteer as judges, but the judge role is much easier than most people realize. You do not need any technical skills to be a Project Judge or Core Values Judge. These roles involve watching the teams either make a presentation or work together to complete a task.
To be a Robot Design judge, it can be helpful to know how to program a LEGO robot, but it is not absolutely necessary. If you are an engineer who analyzes designs, you have the skill set to be a robot design judge. You will listen to the teams explain how/why they made their design and programming decisions. You can interact with the team by asking questions.
All judge panels will have 2-3 people. Your judge panel will be provided with a rubric to complete for each team. You will compare the teams you judge against each other and then verbally share the best team(s) with the other judges to decide the top 3-4 teams. A judge advisor will help you through the process.
To be a referee, you will need to learn the mission rules, but not the scoring. As a referee, you simply mark off each mission accomplished on a pre-printed sheet. The scorekeeper enters the information into a spreadsheet which calculates the score.
Field resetter is someone who sets the field to starting conditions between each match. Attention to detail is a must!
Robot Game Queuer helps teams line up prior to their matches and alerts the Pit Manager when teams are missing.
Scorekeeper enters data into the computer. Attention to detail is a must!
Timer controls the clock during the matches.
Load in / Load out is setting up and cleaning up. Set up occurs the night before the event and may involve taping out pit areas, setting up tables, laying out extension cords, etc. Clean up occurs immediately after the closing ceremony and may involve taking out trash, sweeping/mopping, moving items, etc.
The Pit Manager may make announcements on a PA system and supervises activities in the pit area.
The Practice Table Assistant supervises the practice tables to keep times fair and equitable between teams. Must be willing to give directions and enforce if necessary.
Registration occurs in the morning only. Teams must be checked in and paperwork collected. Good people skills and the ability to work quickly are helpful.
Volunteer room assistant supervises the volunteer room and handles any needs that crop up.
Other positions are relatively self-explanatory. Not all positions are used at every event.