The debate over block or traditional scheduling is spreading throughout the US. Teachers and administrative staff want to help students succeed the most. At the moment, approximately 30% of schools in the US have block scheduling. Teachers prefer this because they find it hard to be productive in shorter periods. My research will show which scheduling produces more successful students.
For my Genius Hour Project, I plan on creating a survey to ask students about the average amount of sleep they get during school days and how many rigorous/AP courses they are taking. I also plan to assess the amount of stress students have.
After settling with the idea of creating a new course, a life skills course, I have been collecting ideas for what to include in this course in order to make it beneficial to students like me. I feel a very important section that should be included is financial instruction. This could possibly help educate students on filing taxes, balancing a check book, etc. I also feel that another half of the course should apply to average, every day life, like changing a car tire, or possibly even a little bit of cooking. I want this class to actually help prepare the student for life after high school, all the in-between concepts that don’t actually get taught in school.
For my genius hour project, I plan to do something based on possible benefits of putting small progress checks for low amounts of points for any assignments given for a week or longer. This would be a change made by teachers that would affect students most, with the intended benefits being that it gets students to start longer homework assignments more than just the night before it is due, which would deteriorate the quality of the work as well as lead to possible sleep deprivation on nights where multiple assignments have piled up.
For my genius hour project, I will be analyzing how effectively the student support specialists are being utilized by students at this school, and how to make them more accessible to students. In order to do this, my first step is to find out how many students know that we have school psychologists, and how many students have visited them. This will allow me to get a visual on how I need to structure my plan. I will take a simple random sample of 100 students at Edison, and distribute a survey with quick questions such as “Are you aware that we have school psychologists on campus?” and “Have you visited the school psychologist?” and “Have you ever visited any of the student support specialists at Edison? (i.e. Ms. Krueger, Ms. Temple, Mrs. Quay, Ms. Beideman, Mr. Baker, Mr. Kaplan)” These short surveys will allow me to get an idea of what I need to focus on with my project.
For my project, I will gather a group of 100 students at Edison High School through volunteers and a random number generator. My survey question to the students who will be chosen is: “Do you think Edison High School should keep block schedule or switch to traditional schedule?” The survey will be sent to the chosen students or their teachers will give it to them. The survey will then be collected by the teacher and returned back to me. I am interested in seeing these results in the near future.
I have chosen to try to change the evacuation procedures and to try to make awareness about the unsafety of our desk during a natural disaster. I think it is unsafe to have all of our student body in one giant field and I believe we need to spread out more. And for the desk I believe desk are too small for kids bigger than 5’5 and it is hard to feel safe under them.
Public speaking and leadership have always been interests of mine. I enjoy helping others develop their public speaking and leadership skills as I believe these skills are very important life skills. I want to conduct a project that helps mentor students with their leadership and management skills. Some people say that leaders are born, and not made, but I believe that leaders can be trained and bettered. I want to focus on making our Edison students more confident, motivated, and passionate, as this is what I believe a leader should be like.
The idea that I have for this project will roughly be along the lines of the CTE course offerings idea suggested by Mr. Hayes and the other teachers and staff. So many kids are invested in taking the classes that will help them later on in college, but just going to college and getting a degree doesn’t guarantee getting an actual job once students are done with their education. I believe career and technical classes will allow students to have a back-up plan in case they aren’t completely sure of their major or what specific job they want.
Right now, I’m considering two things. The first is changing the school colors from green and “gold” to green and literally any other color. As it seems right now, green and gold are not the main colors on most uniforms, and reflect the school poorly. The second would be to find a way to reduce stress on students by reducing the number of demanding classes on the same block day.