Donald Palmer and Thomas Short, students at Paul M. Hodgson Vocational Technical High School in Newark, Delaware, will compete for millions in scholarship dollars, the opportunity to earn a job shadow experience with a NASCAR race team and the possibility of being crowned "America's Best Student Auto Technicians" at the 2013 National Finals of the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition.
Both Palmer and Short, led by instructor Gary Thornton, will represent Delaware against pairs of students from all 50 states at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., from June 9 to June 11, 2013.
"Each year, the Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition brings together the best of the country's future top automotive technicians," said Jim Lardear, Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "The competition is just one of the ways in which AAA and Ford demonstrate their commitment to the community and builds awareness of career opportunities in the automotive service industry."
At the National Finals, Palmer and Short will have their automotive skills tested with a written exam and timed event during which they will be required to diagnose and repair intentionally installed "bugs" on a Ford vehicle.
The road to the National Finals requires much preparation. To earn their spots, Palmer and Short successfully completed an online test of their automotive knowledge in January and scored among the highest in their region. They then advanced to the Delaware State Finals, where they competed against nine other pairs of high school students in a hands-on competition similar to what they will experience at the national level.
About Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills
The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is a nationwide automotive technology competition that offers millions in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians. More than 13,000 students from across the U.S. compete for the chance to represent their school and state in the National Finals. The competition tests students' automotive knowledge, workmanship and problem-solving abilities. For additional information on the competition, visit http://autoskills.aaa.com/.