Smart is Cool

Alicia Keys: ‘You Are Allowed to Be Smart’

You know Alicia Keys. She is the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter behind hits like ‘Fallin’ and ‘A Woman’s Worth’. She has major songwriting chops, a killer voice, a winning smile, and, if that weren’t enough, she’s a genuinely beautiful woman to boot. Keys also happens to be an exceptionally smart and hard-working person. She was valedictorian of her performing arts high school when she graduated at age 16, and in every interview or public appearance she makes, her thoughtfulness and intelligence is reaffirmed. Smart. Beautiful. Talented. Things must have really... Read More

High School Sophomore Develops Cool New Software!

Henry Rogers probably wasn’t the first student to see the need for a more focused, universal method for teachers to share assignments (and other related information) with the kids in their classes. He was just the first one to do something about it. Henry just wrapped up his sophomore year at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver. Along the way, he got connected with the Academic Mentorship Program run by an organization called Community Resources. That program hooked him up with Aspenware, a progressive technology company — they build apps... Read More

All Access Classrooms – Hydroponics

The Big Brain Club is proud to announce the launch of a new video series: All Access Classrooms. The concept is simple. We’ll take our cameras behind the scenes to highlight some of the great things happening in classrooms all across Colorado (and beyond). Are you a teacher looking for new ideas? A student hungry for fun projects? Or just someone who wants to be impressed by the amazing things that take place — but are rarely reported — in schools every day? No matter your demographic, the All Access... Read More

Soledad Poetry Project in the News!

The Big Brain Club is thrilled to announce our first-ever California school partner: Soledad High School, in Monterey County! The students at Soledad have been working on a Student Publishing project since last fall, and their book will be available in a few short months. What makes this book so unique, however, is that for the first time ever the book is made up entirely of poetry. No short stories, no essays . . . just poetry! Last month, writer Sam Tidwell visited Soledad High School to talk with students... Read More

Meet Your New Favorite Teenaged Scientist

Peyton Robertson has a lot on his mind. The 13 year-old Florida native has a knack for identifying real-world problems and crafting clever solutions. He’s got three patents pending, including retractable training wheels for bicycles and a case that maintains a golf ball’s resting temperature. But it was another of Peyton’s inventions, a ‘sandless operational sandbag’ that helps address dangerous flooding near his Fort Lauderdale home, that netted him first place in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2013. His prize? $25,000, a trip to Costa Rica, and... Read More

The Collaborative Classroom

Our longtime partners at Preston Middle School (Fort Collins, Colo.) are no strangers to innovation. They were our first Student Publishing partner, they are a nationally-recognized Intel School of Distinction and a SMART Showcase School, and they offer several dozen student enrichment programs (ranging from a flight simulator to 3D Design to History of Rock ‘n Roll). But this year, the teachers and administrators at Preston got really creative when they expanded a single math classroom to include 60 students, 10 SMART Boards, and two full-time teachers. It’s called the Collaborative... Read More

Student Spotlight: Emma Eagen

Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Big Brain Club student Emma Eagen is one of those special people who inspire others to do and dream more through her kindness and compassion. She makes others hear and see. Her exemplary work habits provide her with the skills to excel and be successful in school — but also outside of school. She is a tremendously diligent and conscientious student who exemplifies all the qualities of a kind, compassionate, and considerate... Read More

Malcolm Mitchell Gets His Nerd On

One of the central themes of The Big Brain Club is that you don’t have to choose between being smart and being cool . . . you can do both. The labels that kids sometimes slap on each other — jock, nerd, etc. — are, at best, interchangeable. In most cases they’re just silly. Take, for instance, Malcolm Mitchell. He’s a star football player at one of the biggest college powerhouses in the country, The University of Georgia. Coming out of Valdosta High School just a few years ago, he... Read More

Smart is Cool: Now Available Everywhere!

Big Brain Club founder Dom Testa has been working with students, teachers, and parents for nearly 20 years. His passion for education and youth development was the driving force behind all of the school programs, published authors, donated technology, and student empowerment that The Big Brain Club is known for. And now his passion for these issues is captured in Smart is Cool: Building a Better Student Through Attitude. Dom’s first non-fiction book for parents is available everywhere, from major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to local independent... Read More

Student Spotlight: Nate Koch

Nate Koch is a senior at Denver’s East High School. He turns 18 this year. And he’s already a published author and filmmaker. Nate’s book is called Stretching Ever Outward. It’s available in paperback and Kindle format through Amazon, and you can check it out right here. The project came about after Nate learned about NaNoWriMo, the popular novel-writing initiative that has spawned many budding writers. He’s also involved with a program called Meet the Middle East, and if that’s not enough, Nate somehow found time to make a dazzling... Read More