Now Famous ShopGirls Off to Houston
Posted: April 14, 2011
The ShopGirls from Granite Falls High School are off this week to the Shell Oil Eco-marathon Americas competition in Houston, Texas, in a bid to set a new record for automobile fuel efficiency in their prototype car, the Iron Maiden.
The girls designed and built the car last year under the direction of shop teacher extraordinaire, Michael Werner. The girls named the car the Iron Maiden because the manufacturing process tortured them every day. But the pay-off came in the 2010 Shell competition where their car achieved an astounding 472 miles to a gallon of diesel.
This year, the girls are returning as news media sensations and with the hope the Iron Maiden will get 678 MPG. That would break by 100 MPG the existing record set at the Shell contest in 2009 by a team from the College of the Redlands in California. The girls’ hope for such dramatic improvement arises mainly from their decision to switch the car’s brake system from mechanical to hydraulic.
ShopGirls and the Iron Maiden were highlighted at the 2010 Green Industrial Business and Career Expo in Seattle.
The Green Expo brought the ShopGirls to the attention of US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In a speech at Harvard University in February, Duncan lauded the ShopGirls as an example of the type of rigorous, hands-on learning that’s so much needed in the US.
Duncan’s speech helped bring the ShopGirls to the attention of the world. A National Geographic story about the girls can be found here. Last week their story was even picked up by a blog based in Pakistan.
A shop program recognized by the US Secretary of Education? Stay tuned.
Researchers from Harvard and MIT will be in Seattle on May 19 and 20th to help local educators learn the value of reinvigorating and restoring shop programs here.
(In case you haven't heard)
Reminder: Mercer Street On-/Off-ramps to I-5 Closed this Weekend
SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reminds motorists that the first full weekend closure of the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will occur this weekend. The closure will run from 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, to 1:00 a.m. on Monday, April 18. Additionally, a concurrent closure of the northbound I-5 on-ramp at University Street will occur to improve safety and provide more efficient traffic flow around the closed Mercer Street exit lane.
Three additional full weekend closures are tentatively scheduled and closure hours are anticipated to be Friday at 11:00 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 a.m.; further notification will be provided as the dates are finalized:
· May 6 – May 9
· May 13 – May 16
· May 20 – May 23
Detour route map is available on the project Web site at: http://www.seattle.gov/Transportation/ppmp_mercer.htm.
Know Before You Go for "Smart Phones"
WSDOT makes it easy for smart-phone users to “know before you go.” A new mobile application for iPhone and Android keeps real-time traffic conditions always at hand.
With the new application, iPhone and Android users will have access to WSDOT’s Web-based travel information including:
• Ferries – schedules, travel alerts and routes
• Mountain passes
• Seattle traffic cameras
• Travel times for Puget Sound highways
• Canadian border wait times
• WSDOT Blog
• Flickr photos
To access these applications, just search for “WSDOT” in the Android Market or in the iTunes application store.
While on the road, drivers can tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 am and 530 am and dial 5-1-1 from their hands-free device for current conditions.
Argo Bridge is Closing Soon
Airport Way South Viaduct over Argo Railroad Yard Rehabilitation Project is under way. Starting this spring the bridge will close for 12-14 months. All vehicles will detour to 4th Ave S. and bicycles to 1st Ave S in order to cross over the Railroad yard. For more info go to: www.seattle.gov/transportation/bridgerehab_airportargo.htm
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