The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Auto tech drives hands-on learning


Changing oil, fixing engines, and repairing cars, all before graduating from high school. Way more useful than practicing derivatives and memorizing polyatomic atoms, right?


Sitting at a desk all day isn’t the most effective way to teach students how to have jobs in the real world. Sure, you can study all you want about medicine or auto skills, but that will only go so far. Preparation and proper teaching  is important to being good at a job, of course, but so is getting work-experience, whether that be simulated, real-world, or right here at AHS. 


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The Auto Tech class at AHS allows students to get hands-on experience with real cars of all different types and with varying issues to solve. But what do students actually do in the class?


“Changing tires, changing the oil in the cars,” said senior Fabrizio Perez Ayala. “Sometimes we try to change the engine, or we just clean up the car, vacuum it, or we wash it on the outside.” 


The class promotes use of critical thinking and technical skills that students can use for the rest of their lives. 


“I would say it’s going to show the kids that they need to be on time, be determined to work on their car, or whatever that problem is that they’re trying to fix,” said auto tech teacher Randy ODell. “If it’s an oil leak, then you gotta find what’s leaking, and then you got to go in and with your hands, disassemble it, clean it up and then repair it.”


Students take the class for an array of reasons. 


“I found it interesting. From Auto Tech 1, and fixing up the cars, I heard about auto tech [2] being more hands on, having more cars in, so I wanted to join the class because [there’s] a lot more cars to be fixed,” said Ayala. 


All grade levels and types of students can enjoy auto tech and learn from it.


“I like that it’s hands-on. I think that it’s open for everybody, males and females; it’s a great learning opportunity,” said ODell.


“I just enjoy the hands-on group activities working on the cars and everything. You always end up learning something new about the vehicles,” said junior Anthony Garcia. 


The class lets students prepare themselves for future jobs in the automotive field, and also provides a space to participate in non-academic activities during the long school day, a great way to break up the monotony of lectures, assignments, tests, repeat. 


“I want to work in an auto shop,” said Ayala. “It helps us already have some type of work experience in an auto shop and with that experience [we are] ready when we go to a platform.”


Students don’t just learn how to change a tire on an old, out-of-commission, 2003 sedan. Students can work on many different types of vehicles, as well as teachers’ cars and their own cars.  


“We work on some cars from the teachers that want to get their cars [serviced] or oil changes,” said Ayala. “We bring them in, but talk to our teachers first and check that it’s okay to bring them in if it’s okay. And then we just work on them.”


Garcia uses his skills from his job and class to keep learning and improve his skills.


“I already have a shop I work at,” said Garcia. “We (students) [get] a chance to bring our own cars in [to the class] and work on those whenever we need some sort of repair and we can’t do it on our own. It gives us the experience and knowledge of cars so when you do get out of high school and you go and find a job related to vehicles, you pretty much know what you’re doing with no one telling you.” 


From freshmen to seniors, auto tech is a great way for students to learn life skills and prepare for the workforce. With 3 levels of the class, there is plenty of information to soak up. Students can sign up with their counselors during course selection in early January, open to all grade levels. 

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About the Contributor
Morgan Milman
Morgan Milman, Academics Editor
Senior Morgan Milman is in her first year of journalism as the Academics Editor. She plays for the varsity volleyball team and dives for the swim & dive team. In her free time she likes to paint, read, hangout with friends; she plans to study environmental policy in college.

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