Posts tagged kindness
Super Shortie Corner Surprise

We may talk a lot about our big nerdy projects and heady ambitions, but in many ways, the heart of The Big-Brained Superheroes Club is play. Super Shortie Corner was created in a small corner of the lair during our recent clean (and build) week for the express purpose of encouraging imaginative and educational play in the five-and-under set. It’s been a surprise to see the space being used by Brains of all ages for playing, inventing, and creating entire imaginary universes and scenarios to wrap around their activities. Any phony toughness or competitiveness here gets quickly rebuffed because Kindness and Teamwork are the minimum requirements.

We don’t talk much about “discipline” in the Big Brains for the simple reason that we’re not looking for discipline (in the usual sense of the word) from the Brains. It’s not enough for our Brains to just gain the capability to refrain from hurting each other or themselves with their actions. To realize their full potential, Brains must also gain that feeling of liberation that comes from cooperation and collaboration. Willpower and Respect—our version of “discipline”—are only two of the twelve superpowers that can help them gain that liberation. For all the rest, they need motivation and permission, both of which they are somehow getting in this teeny tiny corner of the room. Such a pleasant surprise!

This Adventure Made Possible By...

When a young Big-Brained Superhero decided she wanted to go on an adventure in the halls of Yesler Community Center, we knew just who to call. The front desk and administrative staff are frequently the unsung Big-Brained Superheroes of the center. Rather than drawing strict lines around their pre-conceived roles and responsibilities, they’re often looking for ways to exercise their Kindness and Teamwork superpowers on behalf of the community. In this case, when we brought out some cardboard and paper plates, staff member Kris was more than ready to get to work making this adventure possible.

How do you measure the value of this kind of support? How do you measure the power of being able to realize your big idea for a Saturday afternoon adventure within the relative safety of your own little community?

A Room with Adaptability

So the grittiness went out of life…At the last minute, when the social machine was clogged hopelessly, one member or other of the family poured in a drop of oil.

-EM Forster

It may not make for a spectacular story, but more than anything, the value of our superpowers lies in their humble ability to take a bit of the grittiness out of life. To unclog the social machine. And so it was on Wednesday, when—thanks, in part, to the Kindness and Teamwork of our friends at Jigsaw Renaissance and Seattle Radio Control—we were able to take a step back from our more grueling superpower exercise and just play…

We soldered:

We K'Nex’d:

We LEGOed:

And we built things out of squishy shapes:

And every once in a while, when we’d have a minor dispute…maybe over a particular building block or an electronics part…we’d exchange that thing for the chance to exercise one of our superpowers. Who would willingly trade a LEGO for an Adaptability superpower? A Big-Brained Superhero that’s who.



Sometimes, it takes a lot more than Willpower to accomplish a mission. In the case of our first ever robot-making field trip, it took the combined superpowers of at least five different organizations and 10 big-brained superheroes to turn our plans into reality.

Thanks to the sponsorship of Brown Paper Tickets and the incredible Kindness of amazing Maker Advocate Tamara Clammer, four of our finest Big-Brained Superheroes got to create their very own mouseybots at today’s Xbot Robotics workshop. On our walk down from Yesler Community Center (which opened early just for us!), we picked up trash in coordination with Nature Consortium for Earth Day. Once we reached the Inscape building, we bided our pre-workshop time by hanging out with the folks at Jigsaw Renaissance, checking out their Arduino library and other fun stuff. Whew! And we did it all before lunch.

When it comes to building robots, Big-Brained Superheroes jump right in…


Goodbye wire insulation…


Hello circuit creation…


It’s time to heat things up…


Or maybe fog things up?…


A flurry of activity…


And mission accomplished…


Thank you again, Tamara et al! We have to agree with one of our young big-brained superheroes…this was, indeed, the “funnest day ever!”