The Genius Hour Project
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What is Genius Hour or 20% time? Google's has a 20% policy, which states that employees are encouraged to spend one day a week pursuing projects not listed as part of their job description. One day equals 20% of their work week. As a result, employees research and investigate a topic that interests them. They are intrinsically motivated to create projects that have a personal origin but also serve a greater purpose. Innovations such as Gmail and Google Teacher Academy were created through Google’s 20% time policy.
Many schools have adopted a similar concept but call it Genius Hour. One hour a week, students are given the time to research a topic of choice as a way of promoting, supporting and modeling both creative and innovative thinking.
Goals of the project:
- To allow students an opportunity to discover and investigate one of their passions
- To provide students an opportunity to develop skill sets that are valuable in any learning situation (research, experimentation, collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking)
- To reflect on their learning
- To learn from mistakes and how to navigate research roadblocks
- To share their Genius and Passion Projects with others
Students have filled out a project proposal approved by the teacher, now it needs to be approved by the parent. Although we want students to pursue a topic of interest, safety and budget must be thought of when working through the proposal process. This project is designed to teach students about how to educate themselves and how to think critically. Students are never to put themselves in danger or spend lots of money to accomplish this task. They should fill in the info below using what they have come up with so far.
The Final Presentation:
At the end of the course, each individual will give a presentation to students, teachers, and or community members where they will show off their work. This will be carefully written, choreographed, and rehearsed to produce the best presentation they’ve ever given. These TED-style presentations will be delivered and recorded in the classroom. Presentations will be no more than 15 slides, a minimum of 5 minutes, and a maximum of 10 minutes. Presentations will occur May 15-18. Parents are invited.
I am going to assess students on the various elements of the project. A significant portion of their grade will be dependent on the following elements with rubrics.
100 pts. The Product (Did you successfully move from the idea phase to the production phase, and do you have something to show at the end.) See Attached
20 pts. Self-assessment rubric Productivity (Are you spending your Genius hour time by actively and passionately working on your project? If not, we need to quickly adjust the project so you are working on something that is intrinsically motivating. This is less objective, but if I see students not being productive, I will intervene.)
60 pts. – 5pts for each day of their Genius Hour class work noted and detailed in their Genius Hour Notebook. They will complete a form after each required day that will be glued into their notebooks after review.
Final Presentation (Does your presentation meet all of the required elements?) 120pts
Rubric ( to be sent home the week of March 1st
Total Project Points - 300
What if my project is a failure? The only truly failed project is the one that doesn’t get done. I want students to strive to show off a successful product at the end of the study, but I don’t want the quest for perfection to lead to an incomplete project. If you feel that your project is a failure, I want to hear about it. What did you learn about it? Think about a science fair project. If your hypothesis was wrong, was your project a failure? If you worked productively and your project did not turn out as you hoped you need to share your learning in your presentation. Don’t strive for failure, but don’t be afraid of it either!