How can we live longer? How can not getting enough sleep impact us? Why do we forget and how can we remember better? Why do we get stressed and what can we do about it? What are the benefits and potential hazards of video games? Why do people bully and how can we prevent it? Why have we not yet found a cure for cancer?
Surprisingly, these are the types of things fifth grade students ponder. And thanks to Alcott Elementary School teacher Linda Amici and her “Genius Hour,” pupils got to research answers for such questions. They presented their findings at an exhibition held Friday evening, May 18.
Genius Hour is a project-based personalized learning approach connecting students, standards and society. It was inspired by Google’s 80/20 Innovation Model, which encourages employees to spend 80 percent of their time on core projects, and roughly 20 percent on “innovation” activities that speak to their personal interests and passions. The goal is to keep employees – and students – challenged in ways that encourage active engagement in lifelong learning, with the potential to inspire and drive societal change.