Genius Hour

Karina White, left, and Brianna Betancourt spread awareness about animal shelters through a website called Pet Protection Program.

Students at the STEM Academy of Lewisville are working on projects in a program called Genius Hour, where students who are doing well in all their classes can spend time working on a project of their choice.

Noelle Wood, a junior, is building a website called Charge. The purpose of Charge is to inform and educate teens on politics without any bias or sensationalizing. The website covers what government is, why politics matter, how to vote, who is running and information about each political party.

Wood hopes to eventually add a blog component to the website where she will respond to current events, post opinion and response pieces, interview peers and maybe even interview political figures. She also hopes to eventually start a social media presence. She finds it important for teens to see nonpartisan and fact-based information early on before they have fully formed a solid political opinion.

Two sophomores, Brianna Betancourt and Karina White, are working on spreading awareness about animal shelters through a website called Pet Protection Program. Their site includes information about kill shelters, a list of no-kill shelters in Texas, as well as some tips and facts about pets. Both students share an interest in animals and want to help people be informed about the types of shelters before deciding where to adopt. 

Freshmen Mia Salloum and Aryn Baker’s project involves social media. They believe social media alone is not bad, but the way that children use it can become a problem. They want to inform students on the effects screen time can have on the brain, specifically a developing brain. They hope to encourage students not to stop using social media altogether but to become informed and use social media in a safer, healthier way.

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