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What is GENIUS hour?

What is this Genius Hour thing all about? 

Genius Hour is a quickly growing movement in k-12 education globally.  It derives itself from a program that Google instituted called the 80/20 program.  In this program, each Google employee was asked to dedicate 20%of their work time in exploring a project or concept that they found interesting.  If you think about how many employees Google has employed, that is a lot of time spent not working on their assigned projects. Yet, as a result of that 20% time we now have applications like Google Earth, Gmail, and other products that we use on a daily basis.  This thought has now spread into the k-12 school system.  Schools all of the world are finding a small slice of time where students have the opportunity to explore an interest or a passion.   

How is Meeteetse Implementing Genius Hour? 

Genius Hour looks a little bit different at our two school levels.  In Prek-2nd grades, students are usually working as a class or in small groups on a common idea or concept.  Often times this is based upon an element of instruction or the theme of the class for the year.  They receive enrichment opportunities to further explore the concept or idea within a tightly structured setting.  3rd through 12th-grade students have the opportunity to select an idea, concept, or product of their choosing.  They then receive two hours each Friday to explore that interest and hopefully find a passion within it. The structure of how this works is currently being revised in our second year of implementation.