Genius Hour happens every Friday in my classroom and this year I have required my students to choose a new Genius Hour or Passion Project every ten weeks. Genius Hour allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. The genius project is self selected, as long as it taps into one of the menu choices below.
Make the World/Community a Better Place – A genius solves a problem in a way no one else could. A genius looks at a problem with fresh eyes. A genius is ready make a unique impact on the world; solve a problem in a new way. For this genius project choose a problem and find a solution that will benefit others on a community or global scale.
The UnGoogleable – A genius begins with a question that hasn’t been answered anywhere, ever. A question that takes time to answer. It has an UnGoogleAble answer. This genius hour project requires students to research something that goes beyond facts and summary but requires analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Students will look at multiple theories and present their findings.
Learn/Master – A genius seeks to gain knowledge about something that interests them. It takes 10,000 hours to get to mastery. For this genius project students will spend their hours practicing and mastering a personal passion of theirs.
Create/Innovate – A genius gives the world something it didn’t know was missing. For this genius project you will create or make something. You can build, design, or create something from scratch.
Always looking to inspire my students and to show them Genius projects presented by other teens, I have collected a few videos and websites that highlight the amazing potential of teenagers. Below are TEN that I have shared with my students this year to wow them and show them that teens can make a difference, start a business, master a skill, and empower others.
Mr. Cory’s Cookies – For those who love baking and want to take it to the next level.
10, 000 hours equals mastery is showcased in this YouTube video:
Shelterpups.com – She wanted the perfect stuffed dog that looked like her own mixed breed. So, she created her own and started a business at the same time.
York School Student Projects all focus on helping others and the community.
Jack Andraka is a High School Student and Cancer Researcher. His memoir Breakthrough is a great read for middle and high school students.
Malala’s memoir I Am Malala is one book that my students read as a part of a unit on social justice and courage. The Malala Fund helps young people understand that one person can make a difference.
Thomas Suarez designed his first app at 12 years old.
So you want to be a filmmaker. Zachary Maxwell shares insight in this TEDx Talk.
Seventeen year old Patricia Manubay is making learning exciting with “Dream Boxes” by helping young people get the school supplies they need.