Become a Masterclass Helper

Find out how to volunteer at Ri Masterclasses by become a Masterclass Helper.

young boy looks at a globe, there are more inflatable globes all around the room
Image credit: Tim Mitchell

What does a Masterclass Helper do?

Masterclass Helpers circulate in the workshops to help students with their investigations and learning, supporting them to benefit fully from the workshop.

For computer science, helpers may also have to help with simple debugging and exploring the intricacies of code etc.

Helpers provide logistical support to the speaker and the supervisor, such as handing out worksheets and helping take student registers.

Helpers can support the speakers to build an inclusive learning experience for the students, ensuring that everyone is supported along the way and none are ignored or left behind.

Speakers help identify any students that seem shy or unsure and try to put them at their ease by engaging them in a chat.

Who can become a Masterclass Helper?

Anyone with an interest in STEM subjects and in volunteering with young people to support their learning.

We are often joined by trainee teachers, postgraduates, undergraduates and STEM Ambassadors who use the opportunity to develop their teaching skills and acting as role-models for the pupils.

Do I need to be a STEM expert to be a helper?

Masterclass Helpers come from a variety of different backgrounds and not all are STEM experts.

More important is for our Masterclass Helpers to be enthusiastic and committed to supporting the students as they learn.

Even if a Masterclass Helper isn't able to directly help a student with a tricky challenge, there will always be someone else in the room who can. And copies of answer sheets or crib sheets supplied by the Masterclass Speaker can assist Masterclass Helpers to stay one step ahead.

It can sometimes give the students a boost when they see that a challenge is just as hard for the helpers as it is for them.

And, because our Ri Masterclass activities aren't directly linked to the school curriculum, it's alright if our Masterclass Helpers have forgotten some of their own school learning.

Helping at Secondary Masterclasses

Masterclass Helpers working on our Secondary Masterclasses are generally confident with mathematics or computer science, even if they aren't an expert in that field.

Helping at Primary Masterclasses

Masterclass Helpers working on our Primary Masterclasses should find the topics easy to access even without a STEM background, but all bring enthusiasm and a keenness to learn alongside the students.

Masterclass Helpers – teachers

Many of our helpers come from the pool of teachers who support Masterclasses by nominating students to attend.

Teacher helpers benefit from attending the sessions, often picking up ideas for activities and topics that they can take back to their own students.

Masterclass Helpers – 16–18 year-olds

For Masterclass series run at secondary schools, older students often act as helpers.

This is a great experience and an opportunity to develop their own skills and subject knowledge while supporting the younger pupils.

Why become a Masterclass Helper?

Becoming a Masterclass Helper is a great way to get involved with Ri Masterclass workshops, without having to commit to a whole series.

It is often a gateway to further volunteering roles with the Masterclasses and other Ri programmes.

It also allows you to try volunteering with Ri Masterclasses before you take on a more structured role such as Masterclass Speaker or Masterclass Organiser

Get in touch

Please email our Ri Masterclass team at masterclasses@ri.a.cuk to find out more about opportunities to get involved with Masterclasses in your local area.

If you are based in London, our Volunteering at the Ri webpage has more information on how to get involved.

We do not have series in all subjects or age-groups in all areas, but our regional networks are continually expanding and new Masterclass series start each year.

We will support potential contributors to get involved in whatever way suits them and at their own pace.

Upcoming Ri Masterclass training and events

Virtual social events

We run social events periodically for our contributors and volunteers to network with fellow Ri Masterclass folks, sharing experiences, ideas and resources.

Contact our Ri Masterclass team at for more information.

Speaker Development Programme

Our Speaker Development Programme is designed to support potential Masterclass Speakers in creating their own Ri Masterclass workshop and developing their skills in presenting, communication and working with young people from a variety of backgrounds.

We give tailored support and guidance to help you develop the tools and knowledge to design and lead your own workshop, where you can share your passion for your subject, inspire in-depth explorations of the topic, nurture the students’ curiosity and help them to reach their full potential.

The Speaker Development Programme is packed full of professional development opportunities. We’re confident that you will gain as much from becoming a Masterclass Speaker as the students will from having you involved.

The structured programme of training and support will be tailored to your experience and includes:

  • Visits to local Ri Masterclass series to see existing speakers in action
  • Access to our library of support resources, including sample Ri Masterclasses to give you a starting point for your ideas
  • Training sessions in presentation and communication skills, content development, classroom engagement, unconscious bias and inclusive learning
  • One-to-one support and feedback on your ideas, workshop content and delivery
  • Opportunities to discuss your ideas with others on the programme and existing speakers
  • Opportunities to deliver your workshop within our Ri Masterclass network

No Ri Masterclass is perfect on the first go, so we work with you to give feedback and help you make improvements.

We know that many people may not feel confident enough to jump straight in, so this programme is designed to support you to develop your skills and confidence at your own pace.

While our training sessions are run at set times and locations, we are able to work with potential Masterclass Speakers throughout the year on an individual basis.

Off-the-shelf Masterclasses

Off-the-shelf Masterclasses are great examples of how our Ri Masterclass workshops are structured. They can be used as a starting point for new speakers who aren't able to develop something completely from scratch.

Safeguarding and Ri Masterclasses

Safeguarding is extremely important to the Ri. We require everyone involved in running Ri activities to share our commitment to safeguarding children and adults at risk. Dependent on their role, we may request background checks for volunteers and other contributors.

For more information, please see our safeguarding policies and procedures, or get in touch with our Designated Safeguarding Officers at

Find out more about Ri Masterclasses