Wednesday, 18 February 2015 16:00

Taking Technical Knowledge into Daily-Life in Newton, KS

Students in Bob Ziegler's Auto 1 class at Newton High School get a hands-on experience in the automotive garage, where they reassemble engines and work with bearings, crankshafts and pinions. Their big project has been to disassemble engines, measure them, fix any problems and put them back together, reported Jeff Guy, thekansan.com. Classroom time is spent learning about the electrical systems in vehicles.

While some students excelled in the classroom, when it was time to put their skills to the test on the playing field, they faced difficulty. Other students had the opposite problem, Ziegler told Guy.Senior Brandon Moore, who is taking Auto 1, told Guy he does well in the classroom and hands-on work.

The students in Ziegler's class start out at all different levels. Some have worked on cars before, while others have never touched an engine. Ziegler said some students enter his class, knowing nothing about auto repair, while others have worked on cars with adults. He told Guy that some of the students who have never done auto repair work are “scared when they open the hood.”

The school's automotive "pathway" is part of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at NHS.Students take Auto 1 and other automotive courses for a variety of reasons. Some plan on working in garages, others hope to become engineers, while a handful simply want to learn auto repair skills.

Jordan Suhler, a senior at Hesston High School who comes to NHS for his Auto 1 class, told Guy he plans to go to college to become a doctor, but wants to pursue car restoration as a hobby.

Cory Unruh, who teaches Intro to Transportation and Auto 2, told Guy some students will attend Hutchinson Community College or Wichita Area Technical College and focus on mechanics or collision repair. Others will go to Wichita State University to study engineering, while some will go to Pittsburgh State University to study service management. Unruh added that there is usually one student every year who attends McPherson College - the only institution in the United States to offer a four year degree in Automotive Restoration.