Innovation  Day Project
December 17, 2014

Innovation time is a time given during the school day to allow students to follow their passions and learn about topics that interest them.

To Students and Parents:

We are beginning to plan for a very special day at Madison Elementary School. Students will be participating in our first Innovation Day. Schools across the nation have been participating in Innovation Day, also known as Genius time or FedEx time. Most of the time, we dictate what the students will learn about. But in preparation for Innovation Day, the students decide what they will create and learn!

Students will be given an allotted amount of time each week to plan a project of their choosing on a science, technology, engineering, art, or math (STEAM) topic that they are passionate about.   They will spend time working on their project at school and at home and will share their project  on Innovation Day scheduled for December 17, 2014. Students will plan their project and may need to bring items from home to complete their work during class. We are going to do our very best to not lead students into creating something that we want them to create. We truly want our students to stretch their thinking and be imaginative about something they are personally invested in.

Need some ideas? Here are some ideas that other students have created.

  • Writing and performing an original guitar solo
  • Creating a model out of wood of the Sears Tower
  • Creating a how-to tutorial on baking a cake
  • Painting a still life on canvas of a nature scene
  • Writing and performing a one-man comedy act
  • Researching and presenting on the concentration camps of the Holocaust
  • Creating a video highlight reel of basketball moves and plays
  • Creating a video documentary
  • Building a model of Big Ben

Ask yourself these questions?

  • What new idea do you want to develop?
  • What have you been wanting to try?
  • What skill can you master?
  • What tool can you learn that will help you work better?
  • What tool could help you create something beautiful?
  • What tool could help you communicate better?
  • What if you could…
    • Do something differently?
    • Do something you love?
    • Ask a new question or two?

What do you think? Are you in?!

Goals of this project:

  • to promote, support, and model creative, innovative thinking and inventiveness
  • to allow students an opportunity to discover/investigate one of their passions and reflect on/share their learning with others
  • provide students and teachers an opportunity to develop skill sets that are valuable in any learning situation (research, experimentation, collaboration, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking)
  • to provide an opportunity for classes to share their Genius and Passion Projects with others


Innovation Day project research will begin the week of November 10, 2014. Students will begin brainstorming ideas for a project proposal. Students will work independently on this project. While brainstorming, we will encourage students to make the project  "product focused".  At the end of the time we want them to have created something that is a completed product. It could be an event or service to help others in the school or community. It could also be a digital project like a short film or video game.


Once the student has an idea of what project they want to pursue, they begin writing the proposal. This is how the student will pitch the project to the sixth grade teachers and the rest of the class. In this proposal, students will answer the following questions. What question do you want to answer? What is your project? Who is the audience / user base / client base for this project? Why is this project worthwhile? What do you expect to learn from this project? What PRODUCT will you have to show at the end of the project? What sort of expenses will be involved in your project and how will you cover them? What sort of equipment will you need and where will you get it? What is your timeline for completing (or launching) your project? (All projects are due December 15, 2014).

Students may bring their own technology to school to work on this project. Students will be responsible for the safety and security of any materials that they bring to school.  

The Final Presentation

On December 17, 2014,  each student will give a presentation to students, teachers, and community members where they will show off their work. This will be carefully written, choreographed, and rehearsed to produce the best presentation they’ve ever given. The presentation should be 3-5 minutes in length and fully rehearsed. Research will be presented on display boards. Products may be digital. Presentations will occur December 17, 2014  in the MES library. Parents and public will be invited.

Students will receive a science test grade for this project. This is the assignment rubric:

Innovation Day Rubric

Name ____________________________

Date December 17, 2014

Completed Planning Sheet ______/10

Teacher signature for project approval ______/10

3-5 minute presentation ______/25

Display board that includes research question and research ______/15

Product ______/25

Student speaks clearly ______/5

Student remains at their station during Innovation Day ______/5

(except during restroom/water break)

Demonstrates appropriate behavior/follows school rules ______/5

Total Points ______/100



Innovation Day Planning Sheet (will be provided to students)

Topic: _____________________________

Purpose: What will you be learning about? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Which subject(s) will be part of your learning? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Materials needed:

Student provided- display board, research, final product

School Resources (computer, teacher guidance)

Procedure: How will you go about doing this? What step by step process will you go through? Use back if necessary.


Product: What will be your final product? What will you create? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you finish, what else can you create if you have time?


Approval needed by:

Parent signature _____________________________________

Teacher signature ____________________________________

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