Please see the video here: http://live.gfalls.wednet.edu/ecoteams/media/videos/ecoteams-building-a-carbon-fiber-panel-2011/
Kari Hanson volunteers as part of a team of Granite Falls High School students who have been winning competitons for the past two years in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas Event - an international competition for high school and university students held in America (Houston, Texas), Europe and Asia.
The Shell Eco-Marathon is focused on fuel efficiency – who can go the farthest on the least amount of fuel.
There are two different car categories - “prototype” and “urban concept”. Granite Falls has two teams – “The ShopGirls” (an all-women’s team) and “UrbanAutos” (a co-ed team) these students have built their own winning cars from scratch and continue to modify and refine their vehicles for improved performance.
In 2010, “The ShopGirls took 1st Place in the diesel prototype category with 470 mpg. In 2011, the girls earned the overall 1st Place Safety award. Also in 2011 The UrbanAutos took 1st Place and set a new America’s record in their diesel urban concept category of 186 mpg beating out Penn State. Another highlight for the team was being given the honor of driving the CEO of Shell Oil in their vehicle for the opening parade lap ceremony.
The Eco-Marathon program is academic learning applied to something real and tangible - but is also teaching teens life and workforce skills they can put to use in the real world: critical thinking, engineering, problem solving, persistence, discipline, responsibility, accountability, teamwork and people skills, among others.
For more information about the teams, you can visit their website at http://live.gfalls.wednet.edu/ecoteam
The Shell Eco-marathon challenges high school and college student teams from around the world to design, build and test energy efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the winners are the teams that go the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.
The UrbanAuto team now has two records: they were invited to the World of Speed as the first car to run G-Diesel fuel on the Bonneville Salt Flats. “This trip was a rolling education STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) laboratory,” GFHS Manufacturing Instructor, Michael Werner explained. “The car was modified for the Salt Flats for scientific testing that included a different fuel to tailor performance protocols. Every time the team participates, it broadens awareness for alternative fuels.”
Kari represents a whole handful of volunteers who make the program possible for the small school district of Granite Falls. She enjoys the young engineers and says "when community teams with schools, amazing things happen."