Education and training is one of the core activities of FIRST. Its goal is the establishment of a common language and base level know-how for all FIRST members and participants in the FIRST community. FIRST continuously develops new training materials for in person courses as well as online training courses. While the latter scales much better, in-person courses foster a personal trust relationship and allow students to benefit from the experience of the instructor.
FIRST courses are delivered by volunteers; FIRST merely reimburses the expenses. This, however, does not imply a compromise in quality. FIRST trainers are typically experts and practitioners in their field and share from the wealth of their experience, making a FIRST training something that cannot be substituted by just reading a book.
FIRST training courses take place around the globe, and often in environments not familiar to the trainers. We work with local organizers to create the best experiences for the trainers and the participants, and to make sure our trainers are well received at the events. Being a FIRST trainer is a great experience, as you get to meet with teams from different parts of the world with different challenges and solutions. Although you go there to provide a training, experience show that the trainers also get increased understanding of their area of expertise from these events.
Training delivery is however time consuming, for the trainer as well as FIRST staff involved in the organisation of a training. To make lives easier for all involved parties we have created a trainer handout, which we ask instructors to read and follow. If you have a concern, feel free to contact the FIRST Secretariat.
Download the Trainer Handout.
Most experienced trainers can teach the basic trainings. However, experience shows that, for intermediate classes, which are very much in demand, more domain knowledge is necessary, and only a limited number of people can deliver them. Due to the relatively small group of trainers, FIRST often cannot accommodate a request for training courses.
FIRST thus strives to build up a pool of volunteers who can deliver more advanced training courses. People already having the necessary background are welcome to join the trainer pool. Typically, this is assessed in a quick call with an existing senior trainer or board member. For some training courses, FIRST may require prerequisites.
FIRST organizes special sessions for interested volunteers to become acquainted with the content of the various courses. It’s up to the delivering trainer to specify how this session is conducted, and these sessions are typically open to all interested students.Some materials require existing know-how and experience. FIRST will publish expectations beforehand. Participants may be asked to participate in a call, as outlined above ensure a common understanding exists. Should participants be completely unqualified for a given session, FIRST reserves the right to exclude them.
Furthermore, FIRST offers trainings on training delivery skills (train-the-trainer). These typically take place at FIRST events, such as symposia or the annual conference.
Being a trainer for FIRST is as mentioned above based on volunteers. However, by attending a train-the-trainer course participants agree to engage in training activities conducted by FIRST, either by doing trainings or by helping update the training material.
FIRST will keep track of trainers activities and will, on a regular basis, ask people if they still want to remain on the trainers mailing list, even if they haven’t given any training courses.
If you are interested in becoming a trainer, please contact the FIRST Secretariat.