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Granite Falls Gets National Attention

OLYMPIA — February 4, 2011 — A “homegrown” career and technical education program is getting national attention.

In a February 2 speech, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan mentioned the ShopGirls team at Granite Falls High School in Granite Falls. In 2010, the all-girls group built super-fuel-efficient car.

Duncan praised the program as an example of the “new CTE.”

“It comes from Washington State,” he said, “where the Granite Falls High School ShopGirls built homemade cars focused on fuel-efficient designs. They designed a diesel-powered vehicle that got a staggering 470 miles to the gallon. They called their car the ‘Iron Maiden.’ You won't be surprised to hear that the Iron Maiden won the diesel fuel design competition – and the cash award that went with it.”

In March 2010, at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition, the Iron Maiden placed first in the prototype diesel division and second in the People’s Choice division. For their first-place award, the ShopGirls won $1,000.

“What impresses me about the ShopGirls group – other than building a car that gets 470 miles a gallon – is how the project influenced their lives,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. “Two of the girls in the group were valedictorians. One is attending Washington State University on an engineering scholarship, and another applied to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Making sure all students have access to quality CTE programs is one of my five main priorities. The ShopGirls is a perfect example of the power of those programs.”

Duncan’s speech concerned the release of “Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century.” A report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education Pathways to Prosperity Project, “Pathways” supports developing a “pathways network” that will carry students from high school to a career.


About OSPI

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 6/12/2015

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