Info for Hosting a Workshop

Thanks a lot for hosting a workshop at the Makerspace. This is an essential part of our community building and learning. Yes, you’re like a double-rainbow. 

To prepare / setup:

  • Lesson: Have a lesson prepared. Please don’t just wing it. Have slides that are available to all attendees from our “references” page here.
  • When to arrive: Arrive ~60 minutes before the scheduled time. You’ll need some margin so you’re not scrambling while people arrive. If you have time to spare, you can work on your laptop or socialize.
  • Where to have your workshop: Typically the best place to host the workshop is in the “studio” space shown here.
  • Set up the space:
    • Ask a student staff member to help with this if you’re not one and/or need help.
    • Wheel over a large whiteboard to the entrance / front desk area and write something like “Arduino Workshop” + a large arrow pointing in the right direction
    • Rearrange benches and stools.
    • Wheel over the large TV, turn it on and project Project a slide that says “Welcome to the _______ Workshop” and “Please sign in using the iPads, take some stickers and a treat”
    • Setup the sound-system if you’ll have a large group and/or you have a quiet voice.
    • Grab bin of Makerspace stickers + cards
    • Grab bin of treats
  • Prepare your equipment: Setup all the equipment you’ll need (e.g. breadboard, kits, multimeters, monitors). Work with other student staff if needed.
  • Freebies: If snacks / candies are available, put a couple hand-fulls in a plastic bin and bring it out. Also bring out some Makerspace stickers and business cards.
  • Sign-in Form: Click here for the Sign-in form. You can use Makerspace iPads with keyboards and any other computer nearby if there’s a crowd. There is a shortcut on the desktop of the iPads. Please don’t share the Sign-in link with the students. 
  • Music: I suggest grabbing one of the Bluetooth speakers + “DJ iPhone” and playing music on low volume while people are arriving.
  • Pictures: Ask a student staff member to come over once the workshop is running and take some pics using one of the Makerspace iPhones.

Just before your event:

  • Sign-in: As people arrive, ask them to fill out the Sign-in form (see above). It’ll take each person about 1 minute to fill out the form, so you may need multiple iPads and computers going at once.
  • Be friendly / welcoming:
    • Say things like “welcome to the Makerspace.”
    • Let them know that there are coat / bag hooks on the back windows
    • Chat about their major, interests in the workshop/making/etc.
  • 5-minute Warning: Give people “we’re going to start in about 5 minutes” heads-up.
  • Reduce noise:
    • Turn off the music.
    • Let people know in the area that you’re about to have a workshop.
  • Start time: Try to start no later than 5 minutes after the scheduled time.
  • Leave iPad setup for late sign-ups: Leave an iPad up with the Google Form in case someone comes in late. If they do, ask them to please fill out the form.

During your event:

  • Communicate clearly: Make sure to speak loudly and clearly. Use the sound system if needed (see above).
  • Be friendly / welcoming: 
    • Welcome everyone again.
    • Let them know where the bathrooms and vending machines are located
    • If the group is small enough (<15 or so), do a 2 to 3 minute ice breaker at the beginning. Something simple like people saying their name, major and a hashtag that summarizes their interests in Making (i.e. My name is John, I’m a jr. in Mechanical Engineering and #save-the-world).
  • Intro/Overview:
    • Set expectations:
      • The Makerspace is a space for students and largely run by students.
      • This is meant to be a very basic intro – they will not be super users after 1 hour.
      • What they’ll be learning from a high level.
  • Announce Q&A at end: Let them know that you will be available for a few minutes after the event if they have specific technical or policy questions.
  • Follow lesson: Follow your lesson as much as possible. It should be fairly structured.
  • Avoid delays: Feel free to say things like this if you get a lot of questions that’s slowing you down: “that’s a great question, we can chat about that at the end of the workshop in more detail.”

Ending your event:

  • Thank everyone: Thank everyone for coming – encourage them to check out our website and events.
  • Announce Q&A again: Let them know again that you will be available for a few minutes after the event if they have specific technical or policy questions.
  • Explain the next steps
    • Sales pitch: You need at least a blue permit + pay the $50 fee to use most of the Makerspace equipment. This permit+fee also grants you access to all the equipment and training available in the TEAM-Lab  (mills, lathes, welding).
    • They should come back with an idea and our student staff will help as much as possible to make it happen. Explain how we operate on a DIY on-demand basis. Student staff are there to help, though they may need to wait a few mins if we’re busy.
    • If they are not from the College of Engineering:
      • Encourage them to collaborate with someone from CoE. Connect through student orgs or many other means.
      • And/or mention some of the other resources on campus (e.g. SoHE has a laser cutter, the Library and a dorm have 3D printers, sector 67, madison public library…).
  • Remind them to:
    • Sign-in if they haven’t already.
    • Grab a sticker.
    • Like us on Facebook.
  • Officially end workshop: Say “this concludes the workshop – thanks again for coming – I’ll stick around for a bit if others have questions.”

After your event has officially ended:

  • Q&A: Stick around for as long as you can if people have questions.
  • Solicit backup: Feel free to ask other student staff to come over to help answer questions.
  • Reset space:
    • Return benches and stools if needed.
    • Return TV, audio system, etc.
    • Clean up all trash.
    • Turn off music and return speakers to charging station or hand-of to student staff
    • Put iPads back by iPhones and plug in for charging
    • Return all Workshop items such as sticker bins, treats, etc.

Thanks again for hosting a workshop.