So here I am...Seeing them brainstorm ideas, research, create, mess up, move forward, and navigate through every step of the process is great, but the culmination of Genius Hour is what always impresses me. The highlights from this year’s round of Genius Hour were simply wonderful...
- A fully scripted, taped, and edited Baking Show. She also brought in the cookies and they were delicious! You will undoubtedly see her on Food Network one day.
- A presentation on what would happen if the Sun disappeared, how we might live, and for how long we could survive. When he started talking about “Quantum tunneling” as to how the Sun could disappear, I knew he had found his Genius.
- Concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE): Should Football Be Banned for Youth? …..For the record, he also said encephalopathy correctly! He took his passion for football and found a hot debate in his field. The outcome was a beautiful thing.
- A Wilderness Survival Guide. This is one student who could now save the rest of your class if they get lost in the woods. From how to create and find shelter, to making fires out of practically nothing, he had it all covered.
These outliers are one aspect of my challenge for round 2. How do I get them to break down their incessant need to please me, and instead pick a passion project that will please themself? The whole idea is inherently backwards, because if they choose a project without any regard for pleasing me, that would please me very much! What a mind melt. Another challenge is to have students take the next step by not only engaging in a high quality project, but presenting it in a way that provides the audience a true picture of how much work and effort they put in.
So where are we now? Without confirming we are going for round 2, I have already received a Shared Google Doc from a student titled “Genius Hour 2: Movie Making” where he explains he will be partnering up with another student to explore how to write a script, film-making techniques, and will create a short-film.
Well, I guess that makes my decision for me. How could I say no? How could I not embrace that enthusiasm? On to round 2 we go...