Smart is Cool

High School Stars to MATCHWITS on TV!

What do you get when you bring smart teens together to compete against one another on television for cool prizes? The answer, of course, is Matchwits! Matchwits is a weekly academic quiz program exclusively for Colorado high school students. The on-air tournament consists of four rounds of increasingly-difficult questions covering subjects like English, history, geography, science, and more. Matchwits is gearing up to start its 29th season on Rocky Mountain PBS in January. Want a little more information? No problem. Here’s a list of participating schools for 2013. Here are... Read More

Preston Students Strong in Congressional Debut

Congratulations to the Preston Forensics/Debate Team! Last Friday, November 8th, the Forensics/Debate students from Preston Middle School competed in their first Congressional Debate tournament at Woodrow Wilson Academy in Westminster, Colo. All eight students won some type of award.     Here are the results: Megan Bean: First place superior speaker Max Banks: Second place superior speaker Anna Rehm: Third place superior speaker Jaclyn Ambrose: Third place superior speaker Jenna Lee: Third place superior speaker Tony Nielsen: Fourth place superior speaker Abby Tusing: Presiding officer Maddie Lamb: Presiding officer  ... Read More

Playwriting Workshop and Competition

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is launching a new playwriting initiative for Colorado high school students in the fall of 2013! The program will begin in late September and will accept one-act play submissions from October 1 through December 1. It is designed to advance and nurture Colorado’s promising young playwrights and developing theatre artists and audiences. “We have seen incredibly creative and provocative material coming from high school students,” said Director of Education, Tam Dalrymple Frye. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we discover the... Read More

New Video for Student Publishing Program!

Within the next few weeks, The Big Brain Club will be selecting our school partners for the 2013-14 Student Publishing Program. If you’re not familiar with it, get more information here. In the meantime, it’s not too late to apply! If you need more convincing, just check out our new video, featuring many of the successful students that have already been published: What are you waiting for? Apply to take part in The Big Brain Club’s Student Publishing Program right now! * * * * You should also see: STEAM... Read More

Brazilian Students Correct Bieber, Miley

Are you ready for your very favorite news story of the week? A school in Brazil called Red Balloon has been using grammatically incorrect tweets by celebrities — including Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber — to teach their students proper English. This incredibly creative tactic stems from an initiative called Celeb Grammar Cops, which the school unveiled earlier this year. These so-called Celeb Grammar Cops are actually students between the ages of 8 and 13. They seek out tweets from celebrities and (very politely) correct any errors... Read More

Teen’s Invention Could Change Your Charge

An 18 year-old high school student from California won $50,000 last week for creating an energy storage device that can be fully charged in under 30 seconds. “My cell phone battery always dies,” said Eesha Khare, echoing a sentiment that we all share. But instead of just shrugging her shoulders, Eesha put her problem-solving skills to work. She created a supercapacitor, which is a device that packs a lot of energy into a very tiny space. It also charges quickly and holds that charge for a very long time —... Read More

New Student Authors Published!

The Big Brain Club today unveils the finished product from our latest student publishing program: The Big Brain Club at Falcon Bluffs Middle School. This is the latest evolution of our Student Publishing Program, which allows middle school students an opportunity to work with nearby high schoolers in producing a professional, high-quality book of their creative writing. “What these students have accomplished is wildly impressive,” said Big Brain Club founder Dom Testa. “Not just the stellar creative writing of the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, but also the hard work... Read More

What Do We Do, Anyway?

It’s one of the most common questions we hear: What is The Big Brain Club? We hear it in email, on Twitter, at parties. We hear it a lot. And that’s because word has gotten out that The Big Brain Club is growing, and that we’re doing great work in schools and online. So people want to know: what exactly do we do that’s getting all these people so excited? This video paints a pretty complete picture, and all in less than two minutes. Check it out… and by all means,... Read More

Meet This 15 Year-Old Cancer Fighter

The trouble with pancreatic cancer — best known for claiming tech icon Steve Jobs last year — is that it kills 19 out of 20 sufferers within five years. Why? Because it’s always been very difficult to detect until much too late. Enter Jack Andraka, a 15 year-old from Crownsville, Maryland. Jack has devised a simple dip-stick test that is 28 times faster, 28 times cheaper, and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests. Its efficacy could save millions of lives, and its potential has already earned Jack $75,000 in... Read More

The Physics of Awesome People

We came across this post on, and couldn’t resist sharing. It’s a great example of the convergence between science, pop culture, and an opportunity to learn something new. Start with a popular, mind-blowing viral video. In this case, it’s People are Awesome 2013, which only has about 26 million YouTube views to date. Then, courtesy of the good people at Wired, take a few minutes to learn the physics behind some of what you’ve just seen. There are lessons here on everything from mass to acceleration to inertia. It’s... Read More