Independent Investigations: Genius Hour

  1. Choose a topic for an Independent Investigation.
  2. Determine a problem or question.
  3. Conference and complete a Management Plan Document.
  4. Research and Investigate.
  5. Then create a product or service as a result of your Independent Investigation. (Ideas for products, see files at bottom)

Independent Investigation INSPIRATIONS

Student Tech Trainers: I got this idea from

In 2012, Angela Estrella, library media teacher for Lynbrook High School in San Jose, Calif., decided to help bridge the ­tech­­­­nology experience gap between students and teachers by developing a ­program she dubbed Virtual Vikings. She recruited a half-dozen ­students to spend their free periods working with school technology, who would then serve as assistants to teachers using those tools.

"We decided to go to the lab and ­experiment with what was being used on campus, and then go to the classrooms to help teachers," Estrella explains. "We quickly ­realized that as students started exploring the tools that we thought were helping, we'd been missing the student perspective. Tools that seemed great to teachers were actually ­cumbersome to students."

    1. Develop a PROGRAM NAME
    2. Investigate technology to teach
    3. Practice training
    4. Advertise for clients (teachers) who want training
    5. Possible topics:

Student Films/Festival: I got this idea from the White House Student Film Festival

"A couple months ago, we asked students all across the country to tell us about the technology in their classrooms.

We asked them to tell us why technology is so important, and how it will change the educational experience for kids in the future. They stepped up to the challenge in a big way: We received more than 2,500 official entries.

These students brought us into their classrooms, homes, and backyards. They introduced us to their teachers, to their robots, and to imaginary characters that they dreamed up. They showed us how they learn."

Fantasy Stock Market GAME: I have team accounts ready for GATE classes at The Stock Market Game.

What would you do if you were given $100,000? Would you spend it all at once? Would you think about putting some of it in the bank? We’d like to teach you how to invest it, so you might grow it. Through The Stock Market Game (SMG), you will gain a fundamental understanding of investing and how you might get your money to work for you.

The Stock Market Game will also help you do better in school. When you participate in The Stock Market Game, you are in a real-world situation where you practice the content and skills you’re taught in math, English Language Arts, economics, social studies, and other school subjects. Most importantly, The Stock Market Game will help you develop positive money habits and prepare you for your future

Websites for Inspiration

Pantheon: Mapping Historical Cultural Production. From Pantheon:

"You were not born with the ability to fly, cure disease or communicate at long distances, but you were born in a society that endows you with these capacities. These capacities are the result of information that has been generated by humans and that humans have been able to embed in tangible and digital objects.

Infographics: Super cool graphical visualizations on a variety of topics. From Infographics: 

"The Internet Map is an interactive, zoomable design that uses a combination of algorithms and the Google Earth API to display 350,000 websites as sized circles representing their overall traffic.

Designed by Ruslan Enikeev, the color-coding shows the country affiliations.

TED Talks: Browse through to investigate a wide variety of topics with video and supporting media like:

Inventions that Shape HistorySuperhero Science
The Way We Think
Ecofying Cities
Questions No One (Yet) Knows the Answers To
Visualizing Data
Math in Real Life
How Things Work
Making the Invisible Visible
 Playing with Language
Ingenuity in the Developing World
Awesome Nature
Cyber-Influence & Power
The World's People and Places
Government Declassified
Out of this World 
Before and After Einstein
Getting Under our Skin
Animation Basics

A bionic leg that helped a dancer to dance again

A 50 cent microscope that folds like origami

The cheap all terrain wheelchair

A new prosthetic arm

Dare to educate Afghan girls, Shabana Basij Rasikh

Creating successful bicycle transportation networks

All over the world, there's a growing consensus that our education systems are broken. These educators offer lessons in how we might re-imagine school. 
For example: 
Ken Robinson, How schools kill creativityPosted Jun 2006
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Extraordinary Paper Project @ Philadelphia Flower Show

Doodle 4 Google: Meet the Doodlers Sessions 1-3
Meet Google Doodlers and learn how they go from ideas to doodles. Doodlers will share the creative process for one of their doodles: brainstorms, first drafts and exploratory sketches, the review process and finally how it all comes together in the final doodle. 
An extension of the Hour of Code: Complete the next set of lessons from and learn the basics of computer coding with game-based activities. 
Computer science is driving job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society. More than half of projected jobs in STEM fields are in computing occupations; these occupations dominate “help wanted” ads; and computer science is one of the hottest degrees for new college graduates.

Arithmetic and pre-algebra
Differential equations
Linear algebra
Applied math
Trigonometry and precalculus
Recreational math
Math contests
Probability and statistics
Organic chemistry
Healthcare and medicine
Cosmology and astronomy
Python programming
Discoveries and projects
Economics and finance
Finance and capital markets
Art history
American civics
Partner content from: The Museum of Modern Art
Partner content from: California Academy of Sciences
Partner content from: LeBron asks
Partner content from: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Partner content from: Crash Course
Partner content from: The Brookings Institution
Partner content from: Stanford School of Medicine
Partner content from: MIT+K12
Suzanne Updegrove,
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Suzanne Updegrove,
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Suzanne Updegrove,
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