The Big-Brained Superheroes strike again

Written by on August 1, 2017 in Yesler Terrace - Comments Off

By Ariel Grob

Special to The Voice

On any given day at the Big-Brained Superheroes Club, you’ll find the lively, imaginative, controlled chaos of 5 to10 projects happening all at once. A couple of ‘Big Brains’ (i.e. any neighborhood kid aged 4-18 who wants to work on nerdy projects with the group) will be programming the cardboard and LED Godzilla to light up or roar when someone opens the door.

Mellawit, age 9, plays with a fidget spinner made on the 3D printer at the Big-Brained Superheroes Club.

Mellawit, age 9, plays with a fidget spinner made on the 3D printer at the Big-Brained Superheroes Club.

A few others will be creating a mini binary counter. Four or five Big Brains will be choreographing a dance or teaching each other taekwondo. And still some will be putting together wood-and-water robotic arms.

This is STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) at its finest: find a nerdy project that intrigues you, and own it. Like a boss.

‘Own it like a boss’ is a phrase you’ll hear over and over at the Yesler Community Center. Why? Most of the projects at the Club are chosen and owned by the kids themselves. We’ve found that this kind of ownership is empowering, engaging, and evokes critical thinking and creativity – more so than a project or assignment they are required or told to do.

Don’t get us wrong: we still offer a lot of guidance. But by giving the Big Brains the autonomy to choose their own nerdy projects, we’re allowing them to sift through their many options and choose what is most interesting to them, exercise creative and critical thinking to get their project off the ground, and own it – like a boss.

Owning it like a boss – whether it is a nerdy project, homework assignment, or playing “math-ketball” with friends – gives the Big Brains the opportunity to utilize what we call the Big-Brained Superpowers: creativity, persistence, empathy, leadership, sense of adventure, critical thinking, willpower and kindness. And in our book, learning to flex these superpowers is what it’s all about.

Ten-year-olds Andy and Ibrahim build their own creation, "Ibrazilla's early warning system."

Ten-year-olds Andy and Ibrahim build their own creation, “Ibrazilla’s early warning system.”

Stop by one of our upcoming events and see for yourself what we’re up to – we’d love to have you:

Pizza, Planets and PJs Party, Aug. 11, 7:00-10:00 p.m. at Yesler Community Center
Seattle’s Mini Maker Faire, Sept.16 and 17 at MoPOP (formerly EMP Museum)
The Club meets every Monday and Wednesday from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Yesler Community Center
Learn more at www.bigbrainedsuperheroes.org/

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