This spring I decided to dedicate my Friday classes to a passion project of my students’ choosing. Throughout Twitter and the Blogosphere I stumbled across articles and posts relating to bringing creativity and student ownership back into the classroom. I felt a passion project was something I wanted to commit to with my students the remainder of the school year.
After extensive research and a few twitter chats, I introduced to my students the idea of a passion project and Genius Hour. I told my students would be able to work on a research project of their own choosing weekly. The passion project could be about anything they were interested in, as long as it was researchable. I wasn’t concerned about the final product (although many of my students were), they could present their research any way wanted: video, prezi, photos, taste-test, even show their work on the document camera.
I compiled a playlist on Youtube with all sorts of videos about genius hour or some other person’s passion project turned awesome/change the world idea like Caine’s Arcade or Jack Andraka to inspire and ignite in my own students the possibility of turning an idea into something bigger. Each Genius Hour session I would begin with one of the videos.
The projects my students created were awesome. There were a handful of students who were interested in food and baking and the days they presented it was a buffet of creative cupcakes and traditional dishes. There were projects about sports, fashion, and photography.
Here are a few of the amazing movies that my students presented that captured all of our attention.
The Pressure to Succeed in School
Stop Motion Animation
How to Solve a Rubics Cube