MMS gives students the chance to study their passions | Lifestyles


Imagine a school day where students spend time studying and pursuing a topic or project they are passionate about. This is the foundation of “Genius Hour,” a growing trend in which teachers set aside time for students to work on a research or service project of their choice. Students are guided by their own interests, background knowledge and curiosity to learn. This type of learning environment has become the norm for gifted and talented students at Meece Middle School.

One of the main goals of Genius Hour for Meece students is to promote student-centered learning, ensuring that students learn to think for themselves. Genius Hour includes regular one-on-one conferences, goal setting, and self-assessment. At the end, students share what they have learned in a class presentation.

As students brainstorm topics for their projects, they are asked to think about activities they enjoy, causes they are passionate about, and even what they would like to learn if they had no limits. This has led to a wide variety of Genius Hour projects this school year. Fifth graders learn everything from new languages ​​to crochet. Fifth grader Bo Rigney is even learning to code a video game. Some of the 6th grade projects include Hannah Lackey creating an iPhone app and Gabe Dungan building a Rube Goldberg machine. As 7th grader Miller Washam, who creates a stop-motion film, says of Genius Hour, “It lets you learn things that school can’t teach you. 7th grade Isabella Woodruff learns to pottery. She says, “I love how it challenges you to learn things at your own pace.”

Several Grade 8 students are learning new languages, while others are sculpting or using YouTube videos to learn how to play chess. Year 8 student Olivia Bowers said, “It’s nice to come in once a week and not worry about schoolwork, but get to work on something I love.” The sky really is the limit when you give students the opportunity to explore their own interests and abilities.


Comments are closed.