My ImagineIt was to incorporate genius hour (genius engineering) once a week within my 8th grade science curriculum. I currently teach one section of 8th grade science with 38 students including diverse learners. I want students to be involved in engineering challenges to help foster student collaboration and problem solving. I hope by incorporating genius hour students will feel empowered to take science beyond the sixty minutes they have science each day. Incorporating genius hour will hopefully impact students beyond my science class. My thought is that as my students take science beyond my class they will see science in their everyday lives and the world around them.

The dilemma I have with Implementing genius hour with my students is the buy in and the ability to take science beyond the classroom. At the beginning of the school year I knew I would have to scaffold the process and build student confidence. So far things are going good we have had four teacher directed engineering challenges. The students are definitely engaged and interested. We are are currently in the midst of science fair and I see a change in the types of projects that are being selected. The projects are more complex and some involve engineering practices.

I met the my middle school team and the other two science teachers in the building and presented my ImagineIT to them. Their response was supportive but a few seem to be unclear of my overall goal. This made me reflect on my goal and my presentation of my goal. I came to the realization that I hadn't really addressed or explained clearly how I was going to get students to take science beyond the classroom. When I met with my student focus group I asked them if they thought about science beyond the sixty minutes that they have it during school. Most students said not really. My next question asked them to generate ideas of how to change this. A couple of students said to host a science night. I had never thought of this because in the past we have had literacy night and math night. I decided to plan a science night with my focus group. We decided that the stations would be run by students and there would be a variety of stations. Our science night was November 17 and it exceeded my expectations. We had several parents (which is amazing considering our parent involvement rate), our community schools representatives, and our network representatives. It was amazing turnout of students from every grade level and our diverse learner that never get to participate because they take the bus were in attendance.
I felt like this was a step in the right direction of realizing the goals of my ImagineIT.