What’s a train-a-thon?
This is something I’ve heard of a couple other makerspaces do to get their members trained up and empowered on the equipment.
Basically, it’s a one night event (perhaps repeated quarterly or bi-annually) with some food and drinks and conviviality. The idea is to get the all the “trainers” in the same room a the same time, and for members to try to get trained on as many tools as possible within an evening. Trainers prepare a 15-20 minute run down on the basic safety considerations, what it’s good for and bad for, how to turn it on, how not to break it, and best file format. Then the trainer can relax and socialize, hover helpfully, or get trained on another machine while folks who like hands-on-learning give it a go or compare notes with each other. For each tool, there might be two or more such talks in the evening, giving folks a chance to learn about multiple stations.
Victory condition is getting as many people as possible trained on the machines, comfortable with who to ask for help, and networked with other members who use the same tool.
It’s free, social, fun, and eliminates the pressure for individual members to track down individual trainers when they need help. While it requires some input and preparation for the trainers, it makes good use of their time and hopefully could reduce the number of demands on them downstream for one-on-one help, and reduce maintenance requests due to operator error.
Should IG have a train-a-thon? Discuss!