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The Genius Hour

Igniting Passions Beyond the Classroom 

By Lyne Jradi

Ever felt like school is just a constant loop of lectures, notes, and tests that don’t really light your fire? 

What if you could switch it up and spend time on something you’re genuinely interested in? 

Let me tell you about the “Genius Hour”:

your golden ticket to exploring your interests on your own terms, right after your school schedule. 

Sounds interesting? Let’s unpack this a bit.

What is Genius Hour?

Imagine a time where for one hour every week, you are free to work on an idea or a project you are interested in without overthinking a deadline or a grade. 

 This is the essence of Genius Hour. Originating from tech giants like Google, which allowed employees to spend 20% of their work time on side projects, Genius Hour in education encourages a similar spirit of innovation and self-directed learning.

Okay and?

  1. You get to choose what you want to study, how you want to study it, and what you want to achieve. This autonomy can boost your will and motivation to love what you do.
  1. Beyond the classroom basics, Genius Hour allows you to develop real-world skills—like problem-solving, research, project management, and public speaking.
  1.  Free from the usual academic constraints, you can think more creatively.

Story Time!

 Jamie, a high school junior passionate about sustainability, used her Genius Hour after school to kickstart a recycling program that reduced her school’s waste by 30%. Not only did she impact her school’s environmental footprint, but she also landed an internship with a local green tech startup. 

Then there’s Alex, who developed an app during Genius Hour that helps students manage their mental health through daily mindfulness exercises. It started as a personal project but is now used by hundreds of his peers. Coding skills? Check. Helping others? Double check.

As you develop and finalize your project after academic hours, you can come and present this to your school, university, NGO, or any communal institution that will put your idea into action.

Now it’s your turn!

  1.  Start with what interests you. Are you into gaming? Consider developing a simple game. Fascinated by fashion? Think of sustainable fashion.
  1. What do you aim to accomplish during this time? Setting goals can help you stay on track.
  1.  Figure out what resources you’ll need. This might mean software for coding, books for research, or materials for building physical prototypes.
  1.  Keeping a journal or blog about your project can help you track your progress and reflect on what you’re learning.
  1.  At the end of Genius Hour, presenting your project can impact your communication skills and give you a platform to share your work.

Managing your time

Finding the balance between your academic responsibilities and Genius Hour projects can be challenging but also rewarding. Here are some tips on how to manage your time effectively:

  1. Create a list of academic tasks and Genius Hour tasks in terms of priority and goals. Prioritize them based on a timeline and importance.
  1. Dedicate specific times during your week for both academic work and Genius Hour tasks by creating a planner, calendar, or schedule.
  1. Break down large project goals into smaller ones which makes it easy for you to pass them in between your academic obligations. 
  1. Find ways to stay motivated and organized by downloading apps, designing planners, using sticky notes and highlighters, or keeping a track journal of your progress. 

Keep growing your fire…

Now that you know what Genius Hour can offer, what project would you dream up? 

Whether it’s creating an art installation, writing a series of short stories, or starting a mini-business, the sky’s your limit. 

Genius Hour empowers you to take control of your learning and pursue your passions.

 Choosing to dedicate one hour to do work on what you love, education becomes more engaging, practical, and fun.

Ready to show your genius?

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