That’s Genius! Understanding G100

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Last week, Year 6-8 students gathered in the auditorium at Yew Chung International School of Beijing for the G100 project share. The room was buzzing with exciting inventions and packed with parents, students and staff, eager to find out what students have been up to this term. Ms Alana Martin, Y6-8 Learning Community Leader, tells us more.

 

What’s G100 all about?

G100, or Genius Hour, is an idea that originally came from Google. Google allowed its employees to devote 20% of their time to developing a personal interest or project of their choice. They found that employees were shown to be more productive, engaged and loyal as a result. It proved so successful, in fact, that several large companies are now following suit – including LinkedIn, Apple, and 3M.


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At YCIS Beijing, G100 is all about allowing students to have a say in what they’re learning. They choose their own topics and how they will present their results. Students are allowed to work in groups, pairs or independently. Each group will have a teacher mentor to help them progress their project.

 

Choosing a theme

This term’s G100 was without a theme. We asked students to explore anything of interest to them. However, it must have a purpose (e.g. to solve a problem, educate others) and there must be a product as an end result.


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Next term, we will be introducing a new theme for G100 – “health and wellness”. To inform their projects, we are arranging student wellness workshops at the same time.

 

Involving parents

Before the project share, we ran a parent classroom to help parents understand more about G100 and how they can support it. With the help of our school counsellor, Rachel, the workshop also included advice on how to help parents nurture creativity and passions at home.


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The project share

Last week we had our G100 project share. Here, students were able to present and discuss their projects with peers, parents and staff. It’s important that our students have an audience for these projects – it adds purpose and direction, and motivates them to have everything finished on time! We allow students to deliver their presentations in any/all languages available to them, so we saw some Japanese and Korean on display, not just Chinese and English.

We had an unprecedented amount of parents come to visit this year, about 40. It’s great to see such parent support. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions of the students, for example what would you do differently next time? And what was the most successful part of this project?


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Developing skills

G100 enables our students to develop a great range of skills that prove especially useful for IGCSEs, IBDP and university. Among them are time management, organisation, self-motivation and innovation. While teachers are there to oversee work, the research and development of these projects needs to come from the students themselves.

 

Stand-out work

As always, our projects were of a really high standard and it is a pleasure to see students developing ideas of genuine interest to them. This time, Anna Westerholt Sara Fernandez’s project particularly stood out. With the help of our science teacher Ms Engler, the girls designed and created their own bath bombs and explored the benefits of aromatherapy. Their products were beautiful and their presentation was extremely thorough and thoughtful. In fact, Anna and Sara will be at the Christmas Bazaar next week selling their bath bombs. Don’t miss them!

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