Volunteering at The BBSC is a team effort, primarily designed to engage your brain and exercise your superpowers. Volunteers are empowered to choose from among a variety of projects, making use of diverse skillsets and interests. We’ll typically start the day with a tour of The BBSC, a recitation of The BBSC Oath, and a brief skill-building exercise. From there, you can select your project(s) based on what you know how to do or what you want to know to do. Sometimes you’ll have a BBSC Volunteer Sidekick available to help you out, and other times, you’ll have only your fellow project team members. In short, a volunteer day is just like a regular BBSC meeting but with significantly taller Brains.
Volunteer Project Options
#1 Super Sensing Skittles Dispensing Device Hackathon
Nerd Level: 8
The Big-Brained Superheroes Club needs a better way to track time spent in the club by Big-Brained Superheroes and Volunteer Sidekicks. So, when we found this functioning motion-sensing candy dispenser at Goodwill, we got unreasonably excited at the prospect of replacing its motion sensor with our Sparkfun Fingerprint Scanner - TTL (GT-511C3) and turning it into an attendance tracker. While we have all the major components for this project, including Arduinos/Raspberry Pis, what we really need is more brains dedicated specifically to researching, designing, and developing this Super Sensing Skittles Dispensing Device.
Skills Most Needed: An appreciation of human-centered design, requirements gathering and documentation knowledge, basic electronics experience, basic knowledge of microcontrollers/ single-board computers, C/C++ programming knowledge
Superpowers Most Exercised: Empathy, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Teamwork, Leadership, Empowerment
#2 Electronics Repair and Documentation
Nerd Level: 4
Our electronics wall plays a central role in The BBSC, and as such, it gets a significant amount of use. A solder joint fail here, a hot glue fail there, and eventually, we get a decent-sized pile of components in need of some kind of repair.
While our Big Brains will often take on our repair projects, they sometimes need one of two things to help them out: either an experienced repair person actively guiding them through the process or a set of simple troubleshooting and repair instructions. We might not have either available to them at any given time. Your mission, if you choose this project, would be to troubleshoot and repair our electronics, and then create simple, easy-to-understand documentation of an efficient and effective troubleshooting and repair procedure for our Big Brains to use on their own.
Skills Most Needed: An appreciation of human-centered design and documentation, an ability to manage hot things, such as solder and glue (soldering instructions are available)
Superpowers Most Exercised: Empathy, Sense of Adventure, Critical Thinking, Creativity
#3 3D Printer Uncloseting
Nerd Level: 6
Someone kindly gave us a 3D printer over a year ago, and though we have taken it out of the closet from time to time, we have yet to get it to print anything of value. Maybe you’d like to try.
Skills Most Needed: Interest in/ knowledge of 3D printing, web research capabilities
Superpowers Most Exercised: Sense of Adventure, Persistence, Adaptability
#4 Windows Laptop Restoration
Nerd Level: 3
Our lone Windows laptop has a virus and a stuck cd drive. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Skills Most Needed: Interest in and knowledge of Windows
Superpowers Most Exercised: Persistence, Adaptability
#5 TI-99 Lab Enhancement and Activity Upgrade
Nerd Level: 5
Now that one of our TI-99s has finally had its official unboxing, it could use some peripheral set-up and development of fun and exciting BASIC programming activity guides designed to encourage our Big Brains to ask: “Shall we play a game?”.
Skills Most Needed: An appreciation and understanding of human-centered design, interest in BASIC programming, web research capabilities
Superpowers Most Exercised: Empathy, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Sense of Adventure
#6 Garden Weeding
Nerd Level: 1
Take a mental health day and help weed our garden!
Skills Most Needed: Plant identification
Superpowers Most Exercised: Sense of Adventure, Persistence
#7 Choose your own Adventure
Nerd Level: You decide!
The BBSC lair is filled with all kinds of tools and resources enabling you to exercise your Sense of Adventure in new and useful ways. Want to fix a broken thing? Fix a broken thing. Want to clean a dirty thing? Clean a dirty thing. Want to make something weird? Make something weird! The main requirement is that you try hard, be kind, and have fun at all times.
Skills Most Needed: Whatever you decide
Superpowers Most Exercised: Whatever you decide