- Granite Falls High School competed with two cars in the Houston Shell Oil EcoMarathon. The activity and excitement watching 7-800 wanna be engineers over a 100 cars tuning engines and tinkering with their machines as they readied for the track. These innovative machines motor around the 1 mile track in groups of 15. The Shop Girls took 4th place in their Prototype Diesel car class (445 mpg). the winner from Sullivan High School, IN won with 1440 mpg. Our other team took 2nd place in the Urban Car Diesel category winning a $1000 for 244mpg trailing Louisiana Tech U. with 325 mpg. Both cars were competing against other high schools and universities. Our Shop Girls who set the stage for an all-girls team 4 years ago, were joined by another all-girls team from Louisiana for the 2013 event.
Teams from Canada, Brazil, Guatamala, Mexico and all over the US competed. One has to be impressed with the innovation, passion and workmanship, students of both genders, ethnicity, volunteers and the ability of Shell Oil to run a smooth operation with so many participants. Events like this speak well for the US in bringing future engineers and designers in many disciplines to the market place in the years ahead.
Here is a picture of the work floor in the George Brown Conference Center where teams have their cars in various states of readiness, working to get ready for the track.
The adult volunteers, Bob, Ed, Dave, and Scott (who trailored our 2 cars and equipment from Seattle) along with educator Michael Werner are teaching more than building cars. Technical skills, problem solving, endurance, handling stress and working as a team are major components of the auto development process. I guess that is where I come in working with both teams to insure they handle the challenges of working together in a stressful environment and communicating effectively with each other and the press. I am very proud of these primarily 9th and 10th graders handling the situation so well. What a great event! The 12 team members are preparing for a new car in 2014. Think about volunteering or financial support.