Kudos to the Granite Falls High School all girls race team participating in the CTE manufacturing program. These girls will be constructing a wind tunnel and applying research skills, design skills and be responsible for building a fuel-efficient car from scratch. When they are done they will be competing in a national competition next spring sponsored by the Shell Oil Company.
Under the direction and enthusiasm of Michael Werner, the school’s manufacturing instructor who pushed for a Carl Perkins grant that is helping to fund this undertaking, these girls will be able visit the Western Washington University Vehicle Research Institute to learn more about wind tunnels and testing aerodynamic features of cars. Wow! What a wonderful experience for them that usually in the past only boys were able to do. The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing, formerly the MPDC has also pitched in some funds to help sponsor this wonderful opportunity to encourage these girls. We want all young people but particularly girls to experience lessons and best practices that will enable them to select high-demand jobs in nontraditional fields. This is what prompted Michael Werner to apply for the grant and got the car-building project rolling. The girls will hone their skills in drafting, engineering, math, computer science, computer-aided design, marketing and communication.
Here are some of the comments to me from some of the six girls who traveled to the Shell Eco-marathon competition in California, in April where they got a close and personal look at what awaits them.
My name is Sarah Turner, and I am a junior at Granite Falls High School. I have always been interested in math and science, so when I heard about this project, I was very excited. This seems like a great opportunity for girls that love engineering subject, and even girls that don’t. That’s the wonderful thing about this project; it has so many aspects to it that there is a little something for everyone. All the members of the team have the chance to showcase their own abilities and help the team by doing so. I hope that we can all work together to create a “car” that will do very well at the 2010 Shell Eco Marathon competition. Thank you very much for giving us the ability to compete. We all appreciate your generous sponsorship.
My name is Sara Rood and I’m a freshman at Granite Falls High School. I joined the Shell Eco Marathon because it’s a way to show that women can do anything that men can and since most of us are inexperienced in these areas, we can imagine and achieve almost anything. Also, for the fact that I like math and science and as I’m considering being an engineer when I get older, this will help me prepare for it. On the team, I plan to be part of the research and design group, along with the racing committee where I might become the actual driver of our prototype car.
My name is Elizabeth Matalomani and I joined the Shell Team as soon as I heard about it. It sounded like a really great experience, chances like this don’t usually come up, and it is definitely not average for girls to build a car. Right now we are in the design stage and everyone is compiling all of their ideas together. I want to work with the actual building and design of the car as well as like painting the outside of the car. I think this is a really good learning experience for everyone working on the project and I can’t wait to see how we actually do in the real competition.
Look for more blogging as these girls continue their work on this race car project! I am excited for them!