Volunteering gives you the chance to connect with, teach, and learn from robotics enthusiasts around the community.
Not only that, but volunteering in any role for at least an hour on any day of the event gets you:
- Lunch and a light breakfast provided for you1
- Free admission to the entire event, including all sessions2
- Free parking at or near the host site
- Access to on-site Wi-Fi
Session leaders will be additionally be provided:
- Room(s) with projectors (usually with HDMI input; adapters will be available), power outlets, and tables
- Online spreadsheets displaying the current signups for their session(s), which are linked to our main registration database so they will automatically update in real time3
- Wired Internet (via Ethernet cable)4
You can request additional supplies and resources beyond these, and the planning committee will work with you to see if we can help you to obtain them once your session application(s) have been approved.
For high school students seeking to fulfill community service requirements, we're happy to sign off on any documentation you might need to verify you volunteered with us.
1The provided lunch is usually pizzas, wraps, sandwiches, or pasta (depending on what is convenient and available) along with chips or cookies, and beverages. We will always offer at least meat and vegetarian options, but cannot promise to accommodate more specific dietary needs due to the logistics of catering orders. We apologize, but you'll have to bring your own lunch (at your own expense) if this is a concern.
2Though it won't cost you anything to attend other sessions, you'll still need to sign up for them so your fellow session leaders have you in their attendee lists.
3Only after attendee registration has begun
4Only available at some host sites
How to Get Involved
There are many ways to get involved, no matter your expertise, ability, or availability. Both teens and adults are welcome!
We are looking especially for the following:
- FIRST students, alumni, or mentors with knowledge to share in mechanical design, electronics, programming, leadership, marketing, fundraising, graphic design, web dev, video, or animation - or any other topic relevant to FIRST teams
- Professionals or college/graduate students who work in or study any area of engineering (i.e. robotics, ME, EE, software, aerospace, bio, biomed), neuroscience, business (i.e. development, management), marketing, graphic design, web dev, video, or animation
If one or both describes you, we need you!
See our volunteer roles page for overviews and complete descriptions of all available roles, including time commitment, qualifications, and how to apply. Unless otherwise noted, all roles are open to both teens and adults.
Note for longtime volunteers: in 2022, we restructured our volunteer roles and session types for clarity and sustainability. Please carefully review the updated role descriptions, and contact the planning committee at email@example.com with any questions.
Session Cancellation Policy
Once your session(s) have been approved, we generally expect that you will commit to being at the event to lead your session(s).
We no longer accept requests to cancel sessions based on anticipated low attendance1. This is because, although the signup lists we provide were only meant to be a rough estimate of attendance - there are always a number of no-shows, walk-ins, and last-minute signups that we can't account for - some leaders would jump to conclusions based on what they were seeing and flood the committee with requests to cancel their sessions, only to find that their attendance had doubled or more a few days after. Thus, to minimize unnecessary shuffling, we have decided to implement this policy change.
If you must withdraw from the event for reasons such as sickness, personal emergencies, or the like, however, we understand and simply ask that you let us know as soon as possible so we can inform all affected attendees and rearrange plans as needed.
1There is one exception - if your attendee count still remains at zero the night before the event, you are welcome to stay home.
Housing & Accommodations
Unfortunately, we do not currently provide support for volunteer housing and accommodations.
However, there are a number of hotels located close to the school (downtown San Jose), and San Jose Mineta Airport is also not far away, if those are of interest.