Wetmore English teacher promotes Genius Hour

Submitted by Jossie Shumaker, WHS Student Correspondent

Wetmore High School English teacher Linda Boyd, has started something new in her seniors’ English classroom for the second semester. One day each week, time is set aside for students to work on their dreams. Called Genius Hour, this program is meant for students to study whatever interests them.

“I learned about Genius Hour from Sabetha High School English teacher David Glynn, who presented this program during a district in-service recently,” Boyd said.

This program was first promoted by Google, a company that encouraged their employees one day a week (or 10 percent of their time) to study their ideas and create inventions.

One of Google’s inventions, Google Glasses, was a product of this “10 percent Time.”

“I know that school ‘gets’ to some kids, especially seniors who are just ready to be done. I loved the idea that students would investigate and guide their own learning,” Boyd said. “What is most important is that students are finding and exploring their passions, whatever that passion may be.”

The Genius Hour will end with a student presentation.

“The product won’t be graded on the result, but rather the process,” Boyd said.

Some of the projects include setting up a photography business, learning magic tricks, welding and preparing to audition for a community theater musical.

One of the most ambitious projects is that of Rob Ballenger, who hopes to break a Guinness World Record.

“I think this project is great for the senior class. It really gives us something to work on that focuses on our interests and our dreams,” Ballenger said.

If the project works well this year, Boyd is hoping to incorporate it into next year’s lesson plans.

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