My Life is Validated by Tenth-Grade Girls


This is probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me, so bear with me while I explode with excitement and awe.

All I ever wanted with this blog and this project was to inspire other people to take their life into their own hands and do something creative with DIY attitude. Well, I never imagined that I would inspire a group of high school girls to undertake such a project, but it’s happening right now!
The girls at the Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders in Austin TX are not your average tenth-graders. These engineering students focus on project-based learning at their high school. The class’s assignment this year is directly inspired by the COMET, as they turn a 1970’s travel trailer into a solar-powered learning tool. They are incorporating the eco-friendly aspects of the COMET and the small space design techniques of tiny houses into their project. The girls are learning 3D digital modeling, design, green building methods, construction, and more through the hands-on project. Right now, the design groups in the class are coming up with designs, budgets, and plans. The client will choose the winning design, which will be implemented in the trailer this spring.
Needless to say, I was flattered and amazed when their teacher (who is so amazing – I wish I had teachers like this in high school!) emailed me saying that they were undertaking Project Ventura, based on the COMET and my own methods. Now I’m going down to TX this week to teach the class for a week and learn what I can from this group of incredible young women. I can’t wait to see how they’ve improved on my ideas and what they’ve come up with for designs. Matt’s coming as the SketchUp expert, and will be teaching them 3D design using this free program.
I strongly encourage you to check out their blog! It is very detailed and extremely well-written. It will keep you up to date on all of their discoveries and victories. And if you have some money to spare, or think it’s a good cause, consider donating to Project Ventura so that they can begin the building process!
I can’t really describe how happy this class of inspiring young women makes me. I feel like I’ve accomplished a part of what I set out to do with the COMET, and it’s very fulfilling. Of course, I’ll let you all know how the trip goes and I’ll have lots of photos to share. Now go over to and check out these kick-ass ladies!

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5 thoughts on “My Life is Validated by Tenth-Grade Girls

  1. Susan S says:

    Thanks for coming to Austin and helping out the ARS girls. You have really been an inspiration. After today’s tutorial on Google SketchIt with Matt (all we talked about at dinner) my duaghter went to her room and in the matter of an hour had a really impresive sketch of the trailer. I was really amazed at what she’d done and with the level of focus and excitement she was bringing to the project. Thanks!

  2. Mariah,

    I just learned about you through Sofia and her dad Rusty, friends of mine who are on this project. I hope that next time you are in town, we could meet up for coffee and simply talk about our different RV related projects.


    • Thanks for commenting Marlan! That sounds great – what type of camper are you working on? I think Matt and I will be coming back to Austin either later this year or next winter, so that may just work out!

      • marlanw says:

        Give me a headsup when you come to Austin then. We’re not restoring a camper, but we LIVE in one full time! Thats a story by itself. Just put a message on before you come – number is on page too and we’ll go from there. I’m going to see if I can somehow help/get involved with that girls camper project. Have no idea how, but I’ll ask.

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