This year, students at Paynter Elementary are engaging in a new initiative called Genius Hour. Genius Hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.
Some first-grade classrooms are exploring personalized learning through passion projects. Students are challenged to explore a topic of their choice. They spend several weeks researching the topic before creating a project to share with an audience. Some examples of passion projects include pyramid and mummy research, how markers are made, and making our own Squishies.
Genius Hour includes the integration of STEAM education. During this time, students consult with their own classroom engineer on various projects. Coding is explored through Beebot and Wonder Workshop's Dash and Dot robots. Some first-grade classrooms utilize the technological resources from the Center for Creativity's Lending Library. The Center for Creativity is located in the AIU and is funded by the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.