Copper Basin Auto Skills students win state, go national
One of the most valuable skills you can learn is auto repair. In Polk County, Copper Basin High School is fortunate to have a great car repair teacher, and two of his students are statewide winners, headed for a national competition in Michigan.
Wednesday, May 14th 2014, 5:53 pm EDT by
Two students from Copper Basin High School will head to Michigan next month to represent Tennessee against students from all 50 states in the 2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals. Brett Payne and Logan Hughes, led by instructor Kevin Smith won the Tennessee competition recently in Nashville, to earn a spot in the National Finals at Ford Motor Company World Headquarters in Dearborn June 8–10.
There, the duo will compete for millions in scholarship dollars, the opportunity to earn a job shadow experience with Wood Brothers Racing and the possibility of being crowned “America’s Best Student Auto Technicians.”
Each year, the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition brings together the country’s best future automotive technicians,” noted Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “The competition is just one of the ways AAA and Ford demonstrate their commitment to the helping students and building awareness of career opportunities in the automotive service industry.”
At the National Finals, Payne and Hughes will have their automotive skills tested with a written exam and timed event during. During the competition 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, Payne and Hughes needed to successfully complete an online test of their automotive knowledge in January. They then advanced to the Tennessee State Finals, where they competed against other pairs of high school students in a hands-on competition similar to the national finals.
Both students say they hope to pursue auto repair as a career after school. Copper Basin school officials credit Jackie Jones Ford in Sweetwater for loaning the school a practice car.