Eco Marathon Tops March Madness

Published by Paul on

I am heading to Houston as a volunteer with the Granite Falls High School Eco Marathon Team competing April 3-7.  This is year 4 for me serving as the “encouragement” coach, administrative manager and “gofer” (parts, food, Tylenol).  What a blessing for me to work with these students, most are 9th & 10th graders who will be competing against colleges and other high schools for most “miles per gallon” in their class. Shell Oil runs 3 of these competitions world wide.  There may be close to 100 cars entered this year in different fuel categories.

What is unique?  Granite Falls has had the only all female team (3 years running) and have achieved rewards each year.  We hear there is another all female team entered this year.  Recently, Seattle’s Channel 13 News interviewed two members of The “Iron Maiden” team. Their team is a big hit at the Houston event.  Granite Falls also enters a diesel powered  Urban Car, which has to be street legal, and may be the only true 2 seat car in the competition.


The Iron Maiden


The Urban Car

In my volunteer role, I assist Michael Werner, Granite Fall Manufacturing educator and concept initiator, by teaching team building, working through stress, project management and interpersonal relationships.  I also have the privilege of preparing team members for interviews with the press, with the girls always drawing a crowd.

This year, Shell funded a movie production outlining the competition and chose 3 venues to film: Louisiana Tech University, a university in Montreal and Granite Falls.  The film crew told us that our team was the most fluent in presenting why and how they are involved in the competition.

The next 2 weeks will be crunch time, taking care of the “gremlins”, testing, working late and getting arrangements made for travel which falls to Debbie, Michael’s wife and his chief cheer leader.

Think about volunteering next year as they build a new car or sending a donation.  Oh, did I mention, we have one of our former team members on scholarship at MIT, and another accepted this year.  Being a WSU cougar, I am proud of another of our female first year team who received a scholarship and is majoring in Engineering.  And our last year’s Iron Maiden driver was accepted to, and is attending, Stanford.  STEM education contributes to so many things.  What a privilege to volunteer and encourage young people to let their “reach exceed their grasp.”




Categories: ServiceUncategorized


Paul founded his consulting practice, Career Life Institute, in 1992, and the Living Perspectives ministry in 1982. He has mentored hundreds of life coaching clients and assisted numerous organizations with strategic planning. Paul holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and has written a book, How a Man Handles Conflict at Work. Paul has ministered in E. Europe, and in Ethiopia since 2004 (microfinance, education, and prisons). Currently his active mentoring ministry is in Seattle to individuals and Christian non-profit organizations. He spent 16 years as a leader/volunteer with Congregations for the Homeless in Bellevue and is currently involved in working with those praying for revival in the Greater Seattle area and bringing opportunity to different populations in S. Seattle.