Recruitment and Training

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Interested in becoming a PI at the Invention Studio? We are always looking for eager students to join us! As a PI, you’ll spend three hours each week staffing the Invention Studio and teaching others how to use our tools. In exchange, you’ll get 24/7 access to the Studio, funding for your projects, advanced training, and more! For a comprehensive list of the responsibilities of being a PI, please click here.

Stay updated on training events, workshops, and important information by signing up for our recruitment mailing list here!

Recruitment Process

There are two steps to becoming a PI:

1. Complete the Basic Skills Checklist. The Basic Skills Checklist is a simple test to ensure you can safely use our most popular tools and teach others how to use them. Download the checklist and ask a PI on duty to supervise your test. You can take the test for each tool separately and at your own pace. We provide all the material you’ll need for the tests.

If you can make the test part correctly and safely, the PI will sign off on your checklist. You cannot receive any help from the PI during the test. If you do need help, the PI will assist you but won’t sign off. You’ll have to wait at least one day before attempting the test again.

Once you finish the checklist, turn it in outside the Electrolounge in the box labeled “Completed Checklists.”

Download the checklist here, and download the necessary CAD files here.

Tip: If you don’t know how to use a tool, ask for training or watch our helpful tutorial videos! Then, come in the Studio and use your new skills to make a small project. This way, you’ll get the practical experience you need to complete the checklist.

2. Interview with us: Once you’ve completed your checklist, we’ll contact you to schedule a casual interview with three current PIs. We’ll ask you about your interest and experience with the Invention Studio. The interview typically takes thirty minutes or less.

All done? Once you’ve finished both steps, we’ll contact you with the outcome. If you are hired, you can begin volunteering and get all the benefits immediately!

Details on the Basic Skills Checklist

The basic skills checklist covers the necessary set of skills for all of the major tools used in the studio. You are required to have this basic knowledge to be eligible to be an ISPI. We want all of our PIs to be knowledgeable enough to train users who need to use the machines. A potential PI is a user who has mastered the basics of all of the major machines and is ready to help others. As a moderator of the Invention Studio, a PI is also able to quickly identify unsafe practices and advise users on how they can use the tools safely. The School's safety policy recognizes all ISPIs as "Authorized Personnel". The duties for "Authorized Personnel" are on the last page of the policy on this link.

Print out a copy of our [1], and bring it into the Studio to complete. When at the Studio, find a PI to proctor your evaluation. If you do not successfully complete that section at that instant, you may retry that section of the evaluation after 24 hours.

Proctoring PIs will be using general safety guidelines established by the ME department to evaluate you during your test. The ME department safety curricula are available for review here.