Top high schools teams from across Illinois will soon engage in hands-on automotive competition Friday at Parkland College, vying for an ultimate chance at national prizes, scholarships, tools and awards.
The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition--Illinois State Finals will be held at Parkland College's new state-of-the-art Parkhill Applied Technology Center (Auto Lab), on the west side of Parkland campus, from 9:30 to 11 a.m., with a noon awards ceremony at the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center.
Cosponsored by AAA Motor Club and Ford Motor Co., the competition seeks to encourage talented young people to pursue careers as automotive service technicians. Ten high school teams in Illinois that have scored highest on a state qualifying exam now move into the "hands-on" competition portion. During the contest, the two-member teams will race against the clock to correctly diagnose and repair identical malfunctions in deliberately "bugged" 2013 Ford Focus SEs. More than 60 automotive professionals will serve as judges for this event, including Parkland College instructors and local technicians from PDR Automotive and Myler Automotive service facilities.
This is the first year that Parkland will host the state competition, previously held at the AAA state headquarters in Aurora. Parkland's Ford ASSET Program Director Mark Fruendt said the college's central location in the state and its ability to host the event at an indoor facility will make it a more ideal venue for the contest.
"Weather is unpredictable during this time of year and many times we experienced cold temperatures and wet conditions in Aurora," he said, "so, as a result, AAA has decided to hold the event here."
The championship team, providing the highest quality workmanship in the lowest total time, will join its instructor on an expense-paid trip to the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals at Ford Motor Company Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, June 9-12.
More than 13,000 students from across the U.S. compete for the chance to represent their school and state in the national finals. For more information on the competition, visit http://autoskills.aaa.com.