How kids use their 'genius hour' – Some classrooms are adopting "genius hour" time -- inspired by Google's 20% time idea -- to allow students to pursue passion projects. But how do students spend their time?
Here, fourth grader Mushkale Uppal collaborated with friends to build a robot for genius hour in Robyn Thiessen's class at Green Timbers Elementary in Surrey, British Columbia. "It opened up my creative side," he said. After finishing fourth grade and leaving Thiessen's class in 2013, Mushkale and another student successfully started an after-school genius hour program.
How kids use their 'genius hour' – Mushkale's classmate Kiran Rai says she learned an important lesson while attempting to make cookies in the shape of sunglasses for genius hour: It's OK to mess up. She also discovered she could learn from mistakes to improve her technique and that she could pivot -- that led to these tasty cookie flowers with licorice for stems.
How kids use their 'genius hour' – Students in Julie Oliver's third-grade class at Warner Elementary School in Spring Arbor, Michigan, spend about 60 minutes a week working on projects of their own creation. Jesse Pratt, 8, learned how to make a marble run. He used class time to design the marble run and built the final product at home with his father.
How kids use their 'genius hour' – Warner Elementary School third-graders Emma Reed, left, and Jamison Barnes chose to create wallets out of duct tape for their genius hour project. Upon completion, students shared their projects in a classroom presentation.
How kids use their 'genius hour' – Warner Elementary School third-graders Troy Gilpin, left, and Duncan Moffit researched different kinds of tree frogs for their genius hour project. Teacher Julie Oliver says idea generation is one of the biggest challenges for students. For her, the challenge is classroom management -- especially looking after students who "don't do well with freedom."
How kids use their 'genius hour' – Seventh-graders Emily Born, Lauryn Lintner, Grace Maher, left to right, decided to compare running shoes for their genius hour project, which began in September at Thomas Middle School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. They contacted sports clothing and accessories companies to request samples for testing, and Under Armour sent some in late February.