Own It Like a Boss with The Big-Brained Superheroes Club

Piece submitted by Ariel Grob of The Big-Brained Superheroes Club

“’Owning it like a boss’ is improvising when you get stuck on a project. Or Googling it.”

– Istanbul, 10 years old

‘Own it like a boss’ is a phrase you’ll hear over and over at the Yesler Community Center’s STE(A)M group, The Big-Brained Superheroes Club. Why? Because we value project ownership and believe that when Big Brains (i.e. any neighborhood kid age 4-18) ‘own’ their projects, they are empowered to try out new skills and exercise their ‘superpowers.’  

We’ve found that this kind of ownership evokes critical thinking and creativity, more so than any assignment they are required or told to do.

We’re guessing you can relate to this:

Can you recall a time as a kid or teenager (or even as an adult) when you were told what to do perhaps a class project, household chore, or a task at work? Now, what about a project you undertook simply because you wanted to, such as taking up rock climbing, practicing a new language, or simply picking up a book to read?

It’s likely that the project you chose, however frustrating or difficult, was more rewarding and entertaining than the one you were told to do.

Don’t get us wrong: guidance from someone more experienced is always good, but we’ve found that by giving the Big Brains the autonomy to choose and lead their own nerdy projects, we’re giving them the chance to sift through their options and find something that is truly interesting to them, exercise creative and critical thinking to get that project off the ground, and then own it: like a boss.

This phrase has become the Big Brains’ motto. Whether it’s Weris’s ‘Welcome Robot,’ Sammy’s mini binary counter, Ibrahim’s math homework, or Muz’s wood-and-water robotic arm, there are plenty of opportunities to own it like a boss.

So, how does one ‘own it like a boss’? In the words of the Big Brains, here are six ways you can own any project like a boss.

  1. Try your hardest.
    This one is as simple as it sounds: all you’ve got to do is simply show up and put in the work.
  2. Be persistent.
    As the adage goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” (quote by William Edward Hickson)
  3. Ask a friend for their opinion or help.
    Everyone around you has a different perspective; someone else may just have the answer to a problem you keep getting stuck on.
  4. Improvise & be flexible.
    If you don’t have the right materials you need for your project, try using something else. Or if you keep getting stuck, move on to a different step and come back to it later.
  5. Google it.
    Whether it’s an instructional YouTube video or an article on the topic, Google has an answer for you that will help move your project forward.
  6. Be kind & pitch in, even when no one else is.
    The world of nerdy makers is truly a community: just like others will be there for you when you need it, be ready to help someone else with their project.

And here’s a bonus reminder from Big Brain Justin: “…keep pushing, even when you’re tired.”

The Seattle Children’s Festival is a great opportunity to flex your superpowers and ‘own it like a boss.’ From musical workshops to arts-and-craft projects to the Discovery Zone activities, you’ll find something new, and perhaps a bit challenging but definitely fun, to try out.

Eagerly awaiting the Seattle Children’s Festival, the Big-Brained Superheroes Club can’t wait to rub shoulders with Seattle’s nerdy community, celebrate ‘our big neighborhood,’ and help each other own it like a boss.


Visit The Big-Brained Superheroes Club at the STEAM Lab in the Armory Balcony for some exploration with electricity! The Big-Brained Superheroes of Yesler have built a dynamic, hands-on electricity playground for people of all ages to learn about and create with this fundamental force. Big Brains play to learn and make. A special thank you to the STEAM Lab sponsor, Living Computers Museum + Labs, and to Friends of Folklife for supporting the festival!

Seattle Children’s Festival: Website | Full Schedule | Facebook Event Page

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