Genius Hour











Mr. D’s class will be working on Genius Hour projects this year. The idea is very simple and comes from Google which allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time to work on any project they choose.  The idea is that if you allow people to work on something that really interests them, productivity will go up. Great things such as Gmail or Google News have come out of this philosophy. Genius Hour will allow you an opportunity to discover and investigate your passions.  You will gain valuable skills such as research, experimentation, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. Finally, you will reflect and share your learning!



 This is an individual learning project, not a group project!


1. Brainstorm & Proposal: You will brainstorm and discover your passions.

From your list of passions, you will choose a learning project to work on. You will then write a proposal on your blog.

In your proposal, you will answer the following questions: (This will be in paragraph form.)

  • What is your learning project?
  • Why is this project worthwhile?
  • What do you expect to learn from this project?
  • What product will you have to show at the end?

Examples of projects:

How does a heart work?
How do space rovers work?
What is crochet?
How can I create a movie?
Can I write a comic book?
How to computer code?
How does a plane fly?
What is global warming?
How can I jump higher in volleyball?
How is a rainbow made?
What is a white tiger?

If you need help discovering your passions, answer these questions and it will help:

  • What do you hope to be when you grow up?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • Where do you dream about visiting someday?
  • What is your favorite academic subject?
  • What is something you always wanted to learn about, but never had the time?
  • Who do you admire the most and why?
  • What is something you think is wrong and would like changed?
  • What is something you would like to see invented?


2. Research: All projects will have a written research component to them. If your idea or question can be answered on Google in a minute or so, then it won’t work for Genius Hour. You will need to turn in your notes with works cited showing where you obtained your information. Online videos can only make up to half of your research.

3. Blog: You will keep a blog of your progress. You will write about what you worked on, what you learned, what challenges you faced, and what you anticipate in the future. Each blog post must be at least one solid paragraph long. You will also be required to comment on your classmates’ blogs.

4. Presentation: All projects need to be written up and then will be presented to our class. Thus, you will need to create a script for electronic presentations or movies. (We will come up with a presentation date later.)  You will have two to five minutes to present. These presentations can be in many forms. For example:


Digital Presentation Tools We Use:

Keynote –

How to send a Keynote:

  1. Be sure you are on Presentations page showing all projects
  2. Tap “Select” in upper right corner
  3. Tap your presentation
  4. Tap “Share” at the bottom
  5. Tap “Mail” and send to Mr. D

Strip Design –

To email Strip Design, go to the main page showing projects, highlight the correct one, and then hit the send arrow paper image down at the bottom. Then hit share, and email as a PDF.

Explain Everything

Stop Motion








5. Reflection: You will reflect on your experience on your blog. You will write about what worked, what was challenging, and what skills you developed.

Genius Hour Self-assessment rubric   (from



1. Your project proposal must be approved by both your parents and teacher.

2. You will be given a due date for your proposal.  Proposals should not be changed after the due date.

3. You are in charge of your own project.

4. You will be expected to have productive behavior during research time.

5. You will need to stay on top of your weekly blog and accomplishments.

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