Students put learning to the test as part of learning 'phenomenon' Genius Hour
Freya High no longer has to watch the forecast to find out if it will rain, because she has taught herself how to predict the weather.
The student at Nelson's Hampden Street School challenged herself to learn how to read and predict weather patterns as part of the school's "Genius Hour" where students are given time to work on a project of their own choosing.
Decreasing Donald Trump's chances of winning the election and raising awareness of locally produced foods were some of the other topics put to the test by Hampden Street School students.
High built her own rain gauge, barometer and thermometer, learnt about weather patterns and different cloud groups and recorded data over the month of June.
READ MORE: Self-directed learning lots of fun
The end result is that she can now accurately predict the weather.
"It does take me a little while," High said. "It is really helpful because I like to go tramping and sailing a lot and it will be really helpful for when I want to do that and know that I am not going to get rained in."
Ryan Young, 10, wanted to see how he could encourage students to make healthier drink choices so he brewed his own ginger beer using a home kit.
It proved popular amongst his peers, with a long line of students queued up to taste the homemade fizzy.
Hampden Street School teacher Simon Ashby said each project was based around a question that couldn't be answered with a Google search.
Ashby said Genius Hour had become somewhat of a "phenomenon" around the world and it challenged students to explore their own learning.
Each project must have a purpose, involve research and students needed to share it with others.
Ashby said the students did some amazing things.
"These projects are nine hours work and I think they put certain adults to shame with how focused they are."
He encouraged students to think about how their project could have a positive impact on someone other than themselves.
"We encourage them, can they make their projects go viral, can they have an idea that might actually make some real authentic change in our local communities," he said.