Volunteers are what make these events possible. Be sure to recruit individuals that work well with kids and have good communication skills.
Central Valley Robotics partners with an outside organization for each of expos. These organizations are responsible for many functions of the event.
Division of Responsibilities
What the Partner Provides
What CVR Provides
The organization structure of a CVR Expo event, and how it is related to CVR, is shown in the above diagram. This diagram represents an ideal case for volunteers; some volunteers may have more than one role at an event. Descriptions of these volunteers can be found in the Setup of the Event section. All volunteers except the Review Coordinator and Head Pit Administrator will need to be recruited by the Expo Partner and the Planning Committee.
Per FIRST requirements, all adult volunteers must be screened through the Volunteer Information Management System (VIMS, available on https://my.firstinspires.org). Expo Partners will need to ensure all volunteers sign up using VIMS. For those under the age of 18, screening is not required by FIRST, however, they can sign up in VIMS to have their participation records tracked.
Additional Screening Requirements
Additional screening requirements vary between CUSD and non-CUSD events.
Clovis Unified School Districts (CUSD) Events
For events run at Clovis Unified campuses, all adult volunteers will need to complete the Clovis Unified Volunteer form in advance of each event.
Events run outside Clovis Unified do not need to use the Clovis Unified volunteer form, but do need to follow screening policies as directed by their organization.
Walk on Volunteers (Non-CUSD Events Only)
FIRST allows for “Walk On” volunteers at FIRST Events. This option should only be used as a last resort. These volunteers must be paired with volunteers that have completed the VIMS screening process and must fill out additional paperwork on the morning of the event. The “Walk On” volunteer paperwork can be requested from CVR. There are some additional requirements that CVR will discuss with partners interested in the “Walk On” paperwork.
Please place all “Walk On” volunteer paperwork in the Judge Advisor Crate for return to CVR.
(Information in this section is pulled from FIRST Literatures)
Recruiting capable, enthusiastic people is essential, whether they are paid support staff or volunteers. These individuals come from all corners of the community. Don’t limit your thinking when it comes to recruiting. Reach out to college students, retirees, parents, the business community, police and fire departments, and service organizations. It’s tempting to target exclusively to technical people and technology-related businesses, but there are many positions that are not technically-oriented, including coaching a team.
For many companies, providing community service is an important aspect of being a good corporate citizen. Other companies realize that volunteer activities and community involvement can be great for team building. Keep these reasons in mind as you share the benefits of being a volunteer.
FIRST LEGO League Jr. seeks people who enjoy working with, and can relate to, young people, embrace the Core Values and Gracious Professionalism® and will serve as role models. FIRST LEGO League Jr. volunteer and personnel recruitment is one instance where employing a network of resources will yield invaluable results.
Effective recruiting is a hands-on, people-oriented activity. Make the invitation to individuals as personal as possible. Be aware that you and your region's Volunteer Coordinator(s) are the face of FIRST® and the person with whom people will connect. Make sure that everyone has fun and sees the outcome of their efforts.
Some organizations to contact:
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority plus: AOA, KAY, ZOB, Sigma Gamma Rho- All historically Black Fraternities and Sororities that have Graduate chapters: http://www.aka1908.com/
- Cooperative Extension System at Land Grant Universities: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/extension/
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA): http://www.nsta.org/
- American Association of University Women (AAUW): http://www.aauw.org/
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE): http://www.score.org/
- Women in Defense, A National Security Organization: http://wid.ndia.org/
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): http://www.nsbe.org/
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM): http://www.acm.org/
- 100 Black Men: http://www.100blackmen.org/
- STEM Networks, they are in OH, MN, and other States
- Society of Women Engineers (funding for all girl teams w/ SWE member involvement) http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/
- Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers http://www.ieee.org/index.html
- National Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) http://oneshpe.shpe.org/wps/portal/national
- American Electric Power (AEP) and other utilities http://www.aep.com/
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers http://www.asme.org/
- Armed Forces Communications & Electronic Association (AFCEA) http://www.afcea.org/
Online recruitment tools
Over the past several years, a number of recruitment tools have sprung up online. Volunteers looking for worthy causes, especially in urban environments, often use these websites as a go-to tool to see what is happening in their community. Consider listing your opportunities on one of the following websites to attract new volunteers:
Expanding Your Existing Network
Current volunteers and aficionados are your best advocates. Here are some ideas to tap into your existing network as well as the local FIRST community:
- Send an email to parents of team members.
- Provide coaches with your contact information and literature
- Use your KEY volunteers to reach out to groups they’re active in
- Some of your best volunteers will come out of past supporters — parents, coaches, and team members who have ‘aged-out’ of FIRST LEGO League Jr. Keep their contact information and keep them engaged!
- Remember that the FIRST network itself is broad — build relationship with local FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST LEGO League teams to help fill volunteer roles.
Description of Roles
The Review Coordinator
The Review Coordinator Advisor represents CVR’s review authority onsite at the event. This individual is responsible for overseeing all review aspects of the event (including setup) and oversees the award decision process. This includes the ensuring the selection of teams for awards is within FIRST LEGO League Jr. guidelines. Any and all (as applicable) review related calls made by this individual are final. The Review Coordinator also oversees the scripts used during the awards ceremony and selection of which individuals read the scripts. After the event completes, the Review Coordinator will secure any review materials and notes for return to Central Valley Robotics.
The Review Coordinator will be provided by CVR. He/she will also oversee any local trainings if travel to CVR volunteer trainings is not feasible.
The Head Pit Administrator (Also called Pit Admin Lead)
The Pit Admin Lead oversees the Pit, Team Check-in, Practice Tables, Pit Safety, Team and Public Q&A, PR Table Setup, and Queuing. This is considered a “key” volunteer role and must be staffed by a capable and well-trained person who can manage other people. This volunteer will need to ensure multiple areas of the event are functioning and be able to coordinate groups of people simultaneously.
Items Provided to Volunteers
It is customary in FIRST to provide a volunteer shirt to be worn during the event day. The Qualifier Support Fee covers the costs of shirts, but events will need to distribute shirts to volunteers as they arrive on event day. This shirt is a “thank-you” for volunteering.
Additionally, snacks and lunch should be provided to all volunteers at the event. See the Budget Section for more information.