The inter-high school automotive repair course has won $10,000 in cash and supplies in the Why My High School Auto Shop Needs a Make-Over national contest.
Students in the course for the contest. Students from both and High Schools are enrolled in the course, the only one of its kind in the district where students from one school travel to another to attend class.
The video received 2,483 votes on Facebook last week, good for second place and only 118 votes more than the third-place winner. The first-place school received 3,320 votes. More than 100 videos from schools across the country were submitted. Eight were named finalists.
“It was so neat to watch everyone come together,” said Steve Hopper, the automotive teacher at Wayne Hills. “Middle school teachers, elementary school teachers, everyone was asking me ‘how many votes do you have?’ Teachers were letting students vote in class. It really was a district-wide effort and we’re very grateful to everyone who voted.”
The Universal Technical Institute Foundation (UTI), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to support technical education in the transportation industry, sponsored the contest.
“These kids really impressed us with their creativity, which is why their video was chosen as a finalist,” said Veronica Meury, the Foundation’s executive director. “The collaborative nature of not just the video, but the class itself was also something that was unique.”
Meury said that the students’ knowledge of automotive repair was evident in the video.
“These kids can look into an engine and tell you not only what components go where, but how to fix it as well,” Meury said. “Their knowledge of the subject matter clearly came through in that video and it’s a testament to the program Wayne has.”
Students also edited the video, which was not required, but was something that Meury said set them apart to be named a finalist.
The program will receive $5,000 worth of products from Snap-On, a manufactured of automotive repair tools and equipment, vouches for tires from Bridgestone and Firestone, and cash.
Hopper said the cash could be used to finance another advanced course at Wayne Hills or purchase some new diagnostic equipment.
“So many kids were shut out of the program this year I know we’d really like to offer another class,” Hopper said.