Shayla Mensink, 14-year-old daughter of Derek and Holly Mensink, chose an ambitious project to complete for a Kingsland High School class.

"The assignment given asked students in computer class to choose a project that would take 20 percent of their time in the last semester of school," said Holly Mensink. "It could be about anything that interested the students: Baking, taking pictures, and sports are a few examples of what her classmates have chosen to do. Shayla, chose to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester by doing an exciting fundraiser."

The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, May 10, at the Spring Valley Community Center and will have a feminine focus since it is just before Mother's Day.

"This is a great opportunity for mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, granddaughters etc., to spend a couple of hours getting their hair done by Karly Atwood or makeup done by Brooke Carr, along with application tips and the chance to purchase makeup," said Shayla.

Ample opportunities will be available to purchase Lia Sophia jewelry from Traci Assmus, Vault denim jeans from Julie Snyder, and Pampered Chef items from Liz Storlie. Fearless Photography (Jessica Atwood) will be there to do mini photography shoots. In addition to these activities, fun morning snacks of a variety of fruits, bars, coffee, and lemonade will be available with proceeds donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester.

Shayla's project comes out of an unusual assignment in the media class of Kingsland teacher Laura Gudmundson, who decided it would be good to turn the usual assignment around, asking students what they want to learn, not telling them what the teacher wants them to learn.

The exercise is rooted in private business as 3M started a 15 percent project in the 1950s that resulted in the invention of Post-It Notes and masking tape. Google is credited with making the 20 percent project what is today by asking its employees to spend 20 percent of their time at work to develop a pet project. Gmail, AdSense and Google News came out of that initiative.

Not only do the students take time out over 18 weeks, they blog about the progress made, arrange two presentations to classmates and make a short video explaining the project.

At the end of the quarter, they will make an animated video about what they have been doing. At the end of the semester, they will do a formal presentation of what they did and what they learned or accomplished.

The teacher pointed out that it doesn't matter if the project is a success or failure, just that they learn something from it.

Donations can be sent to Shayla Mensink, 14896 201st Ave., Preston, MN 55965. Checks can be made out to Boys and Girls Club. All donations are tax deductible, but will need an address so Boys and Girls Club can send a form for taxes.

For more information, call (507) 937-3583.