‘Genius Hour’ Projects Tap Into Students’ Passions
Seventh-grade students at Rogers-Herr Middle School in Durham spent the early part of this school year working on the projects.
Isaac Geer is one of the students who participated in Rogers-Herr Middle School’s “Genius Hour” project.
Photo courtesy of Durham Public Schools
Inspired by Google’s “20 percent rule,” which allows employees to spend one-fifth of their time working on a Google-related passion of their own choosing, seventh-grade students at Rogers-Herr Middle School in Durham spent the early part of this school year working on their own “Genius Hour” projects that culminated with students presenting their work to parents, staff and fellow students.
“The students chose a topic they were interested in knowing more about,” says Jennifer Hall, Rogers-Herr’s instructional facilitator. “They have been questioning, researching, collecting data and creating their projects to share with classmates and parents.”
The “Genius Hour” projects were the brainchild of English/language arts teachers Madison Ambrose and Wyneta Tebout. Some of the projects were about making a camera, being a fashion designer, making soccer balls for kids in Africa, and the pay disparity between men and women. Another focused on nonsmoker lung cancer, a personal topic for a student who lost his mother to the disease.
Learn more about the “Genius Hour” at geniushour.com.