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Hammond AYES school advances to national event in New York

November 17, 2010

AYES student technicians from Hammond Area (Ind.) Career Center advanced recently to compete in the 2007 national finals of the National Automotive Technology Competition, April 10-11 at the New York International Automobile Show.

The National Automotive Technology Competition is a test of skill, a measure of knowledge, and a race against the clock-all rolled into one. It features 75 of the nation’s best high school automotive education students from across the country competing for the title of "The Nation’s Best Automotive Technician."

This year more than $3 million in prizes and scholarships will be awarded to participating students and schools thanks to the generous support of almost every major automaker, industry suppliers and dealer associations.

The CATA-sponsored school will service a 2007 Mercedes-Benz C280 during its two-day competition against 36 other schools also sponsored by a state or metropolitan dealer association.

The student competition was developed in 1990 by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association to help curb the shortage of qualified automotive technicians and raise the level of vocational education standards in the public school system. The Hammond Area Career Center team advanced after winning a state analyses contest.

Contest nuts and bolts
Each two-person student team must diagnose and repair a number of pre-assigned problems under a car’s hood within an allotted amount of time. Each "bug" correctly repaired is worth a number of points, depending on the level of difficulty. In addition, the student’s overall knowledge is tested through a written test prepared by ASE work stations.

Students also will perform on system stations, including starting and charging systems, braking systems, electrical systems and more.

To prepare for the competition, students train with their high school instructors as well as with certified technicians at local franchised automobile dealerships.

The area’s other AYES participating schools are

  • Currie Metro High School (near Midway Airport)
  • Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, Grayslake
  • Parkland College, Champaign
  • Streamwood High School, Streamwood
  • Technology Center of DuPage, Addison

Beginning this fall: Joliet Township High School.

 To discuss retaining an AYES student technician, call Jim Butcher, the Illinois AYES manager, at 630-424-6020.