The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Auto Tech students take opportunities, gain experience

From Texas Motor Speedway to Toyota to AutoZone to more, Eagles use skills to expand program, go to work
Leaning+over+the+engine%2C+senior+Tyler+Valencia+checks+under+the+hood+of+a+2002+Toyota+Camry.+Students+in+the+Automotive+Technologies+classes+work+on+different+vehicles+in+PHSs+garage.+Being+able+to+work+on+cars+throughout+the+school+day+is+an+amazing+way+to+learn%2C+Valencia+said.+Anybody+can+read+a+book+or+watch+a+video+on+how+to+do+the+things+we+do%2C+but+getting+to+actually+do+it+hands-on+helps+us+see+how+a+car+functions+when+under+different+situations.+And%2C+since+there+are+millions+of+different+cars+on+the+road%2C+theres+always+something+new+to+learn.
Jake Radcliffe
Leaning over the engine, senior Tyler Valencia checks under the hood of a 2002 Toyota Camry. Students in the Automotive Technologies classes work on different vehicles in PHS’s garage. “Being able to work on cars throughout the school day is an amazing way to learn,” Valencia said. “Anybody can read a book or watch a video on how to do the things we do, but getting to actually do it hands-on helps us see how a car functions when under different situations. And, since there are millions of different cars on the road, there’s always something new to learn.”

To gain an increased knowledge of automobiles and prepare for competitions, students in the Automotive Technologies classes participated in different automotive-related opportunities over the summer. Select students will be competing in the 4th Annual Auto Tech Competition Dec. 1 and 2 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Seniors Ayan Khan, Jackson Hall, Jake Corral and Cohen Newsholme acquired internship positions at a Toyota dealership.

“After applying online, Toyota sent us a whole process online through our email to fill out. We took videos and answered questions for them – and everything,” Khan said. “We were nervous because there were only about five slots available for that position, but the four of us from Prosper made it.”

During their internship, the four seniors received training in various jobs around the dealership.

“They spent some time in service repair. They spent some time in sales. They spent some time in financing. They spent some time in parts,” Automotive Technologies teacher Vincent Seymour said. “They spent a lot of time in the actual shop shadowing one of the master techs at the dealerships. They learned what happens at dealerships behind the scenes, which most people don’t really know about.”

They also said they learned how to work with teammates more efficiently.

“So, they had this thing at Toyota called the Penske Way, and it’s like a bunch of points about teamwork,” Corral said. “There’s the 10-foot rule, which is, like, you help anyone within 10 feet of you. They also had, like, treat others like how you would want to be treated. Just simple respect rules. And, it helps you build yourself in a way that just makes you better.”

We’ve always competed pretty well for our program. Most of the teams that we’re competing against are four-year programs, as opposed to our two-year program. It turns out that out of any teams that are not four-year programs, we are the best-performing team. I think that really speaks volumes about our students here.

— Automotive Technologies teacher Vincent Seymour

Meanwhile, senior Nathan Chase visited the Universal Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, to pursue his dream of being in a NASCAR pit crew.

“They had us working on this older NASCAR car, and we did so many things with it,” senior Nathan Chase said. “We did track bar, chassis, suspension, under-car, drive train and shell with a bell-housing. We even got to put a new engine in the car. We did it back and forth until we had it completely memorized.”

Back in Prosper, senior Tate Ledbetter worked at AutoZone to start making money with his mechanic skills.

“AutoZone came in with their regional manager, and I, the manager, gave our class a talk and went through what AutoZone is and their values and everything,” Ledbetter said. “Then, they gave us their business cards, and they said to reach out if we were interested. I needed a job, so I reached out to AutoZone. I didn’t have a lot of experience, but that’s kind of what the program was about.”

At this job, Ledbetter identified the issues that customers were having with their cars.

“I was basically just a part sales associate,” Ledbetter said. “So, anytime anybody came in, we would help them figure out what was wrong with their car. Whether it be brake pads, brake rotors, or they needed fuel injectors or wiper motors, whatever it was, we would help them figure it out and find the right part for them.”

Even though these students learned different things at these three opportunities, they all gained knowledge that they said helps them in class and upcoming competitions.

“Some of the knowledge these kids have brought back, I didn’t even know,” Seymour said. “So, they’ve learned things and have been able to actually – just in the last couple of weeks, teach me some things or challenge me to do more research on some of the things that they’ve actually brought up in class.”

Three seniors will compete in the 4th Annual Auto Tech Competition at the Texas Motor Speedway.

“On the first day, they do 10 to 12 events where they’re tested on their skills and knowledge in certain areas of automotive,” Seymour said. “On the second day, they go down and have a three-hour competition on a specific vehicle that, when they get there, they have no idea what’s wrong with it. They have to actually repair it within that three-hour period.”

Seymour said he has high expectations for the team at this year’s competition.

“We’ve always competed pretty well for our program,” Seymour said. “Most of the teams that we’re competing against are four-year programs, as opposed to our two-year program. It turns out that out of any teams that are not four-year programs, we are the best-performing team. I think that really speaks volumes about our students here.”

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About the Contributor
Jake Radcliffe, Assistant Online Editor
Jake Radcliffe is a junior, and this is his third year as a staff member of Eagle Nation Online. This year, he will be serving as an Assistant Editor. He is a member of the A Cappella and Chamber choirs, the vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and the Asian Student Association and the historian of La Société Honoraire de Français. Outside of school, Radcliffe enjoys singing, reading, hanging out with friends, playing video games and being outdoors.
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