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Bringing Genius Hour to the Classroom

What if you were told that for one hour a month, you could use your time to develop or research a project of your choosing?  That’s 10 hours of uninterrupted time to focus on something that really interests YOU! What would you do with that time?  And what would come from it? The employees at Google were given just such a chance.  They were given 20% of their time to work on a special project, unrelated to their normal workload, with the understanding that they would work towards something that might benefit the company.  Google claims that many of their products in Google Labs started out as pet projects in the 20% time program, the most famous being Wikipedia!

At Richland, the Grade 4 and 5 students are getting that same ‘perk’!  For one hour per month, students may use their time for any one project that interests them.  The only catch is they must show the math in the subject!

Here are the basics of Genius Hour:

  •      Choose any topic
  •      Research your subject and show the math within it
  •      Use the math to make it better
  •      Present your Genius Project!

In these photos, Grade 5 student H. calculates what the population of the world will be in 100 years, and attempts to find a planet that can sustain life.  During his research into the moon, he found information that “soon” the sun will collide with earth.  His solution: move the world’s population to another planet!  He is still working out the details.Continue to follow Inquiring Minds, as we share the remarkable inquiries and discoveries our students make during Genius Hour.


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