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Hammond AYES team scores high at national student tech competition

November 16, 2010
Student technicians from the Hammond (Ind.) Area Career Center placed seventh among 36 teams competing at the National Automotive Technology Competition, held at last month’s New York Auto 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 hundreds 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. 
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 series of written tests prepared by the ASE.
To prepare for the competition, students train with their high school instructors as well as with certified technicians at local franchised automobile dealerships.
The Illinois team—Charles Bragg and Sergio Morales—trained on a 2008 Hyundai Tucson at Team Hyundai in Highland, Ind., at the Hyundai Central Region Training Center in Aurora.  The pair won tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships at various automotive colleges and trade schools.
More than $3 million in prizes and scholarships was awarded to participating students and schools thanks to the generous support of almost every major automaker, industry suppliers, local dealerships, and dealers associations. Each member of the winning team won a Pontiac Solstice, which will be awarded when the students complete a manufacturer’s training program or equivalent and obtain a two-year Associate in Applied Sciences degree.
The nationally recognized 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. 
Leading up to the national finals, regional and state contests are held across the country to determine the nation’s best automotive students. The winning student teams then advance to represent their state at the national finals in New York City.