Spencer Avenue students unveil their 20Time projects

June 16, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Spencer Avenue Elementary School’s grade eight students hosted their second annual 20Time Project, celebrating the culmination of an entire-school-year project that saw them creating their own solutions to problems in the world.

Kevin Brookhouser, a Google Apps Certified trainer and teacher, created the 20Time Project. He wrote a book “The 20Time Project,” about how Google employees are offered 20 per cent of their time to work on a project of their choosing. Now being integrated into schools for students to create solutions to world problems, it gives them directive learning, and 20 per cent of their school day to work on it.

Jaime Wouters, the grade eight teacher, said she was inspired to do this project after reading the book, given to her by Sandra McLarnon, the school’s librarian.

Students displayed their projects to parents and fellow classmates, explaining what inspired them to pursue it.

Some projects dealt with water; one student’s project dealt with turning salt water into fresh water, another hosted a walk around the school recently to raise money for hippo barrels for use in South Africa, and one student created wooden rain barrels.

One project dealt with conspiracy theories; while one student wrote a book, wanting people to always have something to read, inspired when several of her favorite series’ ended, while one student learned another language (Dutch), to connect with relatives.

Another student created recipes for a cook book, to end starvation; another student made healthier donuts, so others can have healthier sweets/junk food.

One project dealt with unsportsmanlike conduct, the student creating a documentary and video presentation of unprofessional sports conduct, hoping to convince coaches/teams that the misconduct must stop. A technological creation by one student, dubbed “Raspberry PiPad”, is designed for an iPad, but more efficient.

Ms. Wouters said students did projects on things they’re passionate about, and they’ve been very excited with their own, and fellow classmates’ projects.

“So many of them have learned to become global citizens, and think outside ‘what do I get out of this project’ and starting to look ‘How can I help with the need that I see? I can’t ask for more than that.”

She added the project helps give students creativity and collaboration, and was difficult at first, but she’s noticed changes in her students.

“I’ve gone from students who bring everything to me and say ‘Is this how you want it?’ and now they bring things to me and say ‘Look what I did!’”

For more information about 20Time Project, visit their website, at

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