Genius Project at Waiheke High School was inspired by Daniel Pink’s book ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’ which promotes the concepts of Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose as key factors in human motivation and performance. The name Genius Project comes from Genius Hour, a school version of the original '20% time' pioneered by Google and 3M. The Google and 3M 20% time gave engineers and other employees one day a week to work on whatever took their fancy. This approach has resulted in the development of Gmail and Google Earth for Google, and Post-it notes for 3M (one of their most successful products), and it has been credited with increased productivity and employee satisfaction.
The project has been adapted for schools worldwide and allows students 1 hour a week in class (usually 20% of that class time) to work on a project of their own making. Caroline Crow, a maths teacher, and myself, now an English teacher, are running Genius Project on Friday at 5th period in her year 11 mathematics class. This is the last period of the school week. What better time could you get! For more information on our Genius Project check out the class Google site: WHS Genius Hour and take a look at the student blogs to see what kind of projects are going on. And please comment on student blogs if you see something you like. It would be great to get some global feedback going.