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July/August 2015 Issue

Whiz kids vie in auto repair contest

High school students from across the nation matched wits and wrenches this spring in the 2015 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills State Competitions. The winning teams not only were declared the best student technicians in their states, but they qualified for the National Finals in June.

Designed to foster young people’s interest in the automotive industry, the competition began with an online exam. Then the 10 highest-scoring two-person teams were selected to advance to the state finals for a hands-on competition, where each team had to diagnose and repair deliberately bugged Ford Fiestas with problems ranging from inoperable lights to engine trouble.

At stake were millions in scholarships and prizes at the state competitions and the national final, which was held at Ford World Headquarters in early June after press deadline for this issue.


1. Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center students Devan Bennett, left, and Brandon House, right, won in Louisiana. Their instructor, center, is Joshua Murphy.

2. Watson Chapel High School students John Wauters, center, and Hudson White, right, won the Arkansas contest. Their instructor, left, is Shawn Poindexter.

3. Clinton High School Career Complex students Bailey Howard, left, and James Criss, right, took first place in Mississippi. Their instructor, center, is Charlie Melton.

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