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20% Time Project: Longest Time Balancing A Shoe Upside Down On Top Of Your Head

By Ian Moore, III Form


20% Time Project: Longest Time Balancing A Shoe Upside Down On Top Of Your Head

Editors’ Note: In Ms. Amanda Hultin’s III Form English classes, her students pursue 20% Time (or “Genius Hour”) projects. Some essential elements include taking control of one’s own learning, choosing an individual topic, deciding how to learn and to produce a public product, and reflecting on the process.

Click on image to experience Ian’s Weebly pages.

Click on this image to see Ian’s time-lapse with the shoe on his head!







Reflection on learning:

*What content/information did you learn during this project?

I learned a lot of valuable information throughout this project.  First, I learned about breaking a world record. I now know that there are a couple different ways to break a world record.  First, you can apply on Guinness World Record to have an employee from their office come and watch you break the record.  Then, you may have the opportunity to get into the Guinness World Records book.  However, you can also do it online using a website called recordsetter.com.  This is a very useful website and is the one that I used for my record. It relies on videos to see if you actually break the record.  I also learned how to make a blog throughout this project.  I used weebly.com to make my blog.  It is a website that teaches you how to make and use a blog.  This was a fun and interactive public product to make.

*What skills did you learn during this project? Can you list them? How do you know you developed these skills


  1. Blogging
  2. Endurance and Patience
  3. Youtube skills

The main skill that I learned is how to make a blog.  I learned how to create an interactive blog which draws people in.  Making a weebly blog was the perfect public product because it allowed me to show the whole process of breaking a world record not just the final product.  Before I attempted to break the record, I wrote about why I chose it and how I was planning on doing it.  After I did the record, I wrote about what I was thinking about mid record. Another skill that I developed was how to post a video to YouTube.  I posted a time lapse of me breaking the record to youtube and had to figure out how to do it beforehand.  It was challenging at first, but with some Google searches, I figured out how to do it quickly.  One last skill that I developed was my patience and endurance. This came with the help of Coach Young and was the driving force behind me actually breaking the record. I know that I developed these skills because they are all things that I would have needed to have in order to create the public product that I did.

*How did you teach yourself about your chosen topic? What did you do first? Next? Why did you approach learning in this way?

It was not too challenging to teach myself about how to break a world record. I first searched on Google about breaking records.  Then, the website called recordsetter.com popped up with a bunch of records.  It was pretty self explanatory to figure out how to break a record. I approached this topic with a sense of urgency.  I thought that it was important to pick a record to break quick so that I would have the time to train or get prepared to break it.  However, I ended up struggling to pick a topic as I realized that there were so many that seemed cool to do.  Once I settled down and picked one, I was well on my way to completing this project.

*What learning strategies (watching videos, talking to an expert, trial and error) did you find most effective for you? Why?

I think that talking to an expert was the most effective strategy for me. Coach Young wrote me a long response explaining how he persevered through his marathon.  Breaking a record that involved concentration for a long time required strength and endurance.  While I was balancing the shoe on my head, I looked to Coach Young’s email for help and this is what got me through my project.

*What did you learn about yourself (particularly as a learner) by having to teach yourself about your topic?

I learned that I learn best when watching a video.  This allows me to listen while also seeing something visually. I also learned that I can focus really well when I am doing something that is interesting to me however I have a hard time focussing on something that doesn’t necessarily interest me.  This was evident while I was breaking my record.  I was bored in the first 15 minutes and decided that I needed to take my mind off of the shoe on my head and do homework or watch YouYube videos instead.

*Are you still interested in your chosen topic? If so, why? If not, why?

I am not as interested in my topic anymore.  This is because ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to have my name in a Guinness World Record book, however, now I know how hard it is to get into one of those books.  Also, I now can say that I am a world record holder which is self satisfying therefore I am not as interested in breaking another world record.

*Is your public product appropriate for the intended audience? How do you know? Does the public product align with your purpose? How do you know?

My public product is appropriate for other people trying to break a world record. My product explains the process that I went through in breaking a world record which may be different than other people’s processes.  My public product does align with my purpose.  I wanted to show people my process in breaking a world record and that is exactly what my public product does.

*If you could change one thing about how you approached this project, what would you change? Why?

One thing that I would change about how I approached this project would be the record that I broke.  I would change this so that it didn’t take me as long to break the record. I would also most likely have proof because the video wouldn’t cut out if it didn’t take as long to break. This would make the project a little more fun and engaging for me.

Reflection on the 20% Time Unit:

*What did you like about this unit?

I like how we are going to present what we have learned.  This really concludes this unit and makes me feel proud to show off all of the work that I have put into this project.

*What did you not like about this unit?

There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this project.  I think one thing that wasn’t as great as it could be was the amount of time that we had to complete this project.  The deadline flew up on me which made me cram to get the final project done.

*If you were the teacher, what changes would you make before repeating this unit next year?

One change that I would make would be to start this project a little earlier.  I would start it earlier so that we would have more time to finish it.  This would allow for our public product to be a bit better and our presentations too would be a bit better.

Ian Moore is a III Form day student from Concord, Massachusetts.  He plays hockey and lacrosse, and he enjoys hanging out with his friends and family.

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