Students from across the state gathered in Helena today looking to earn scholarships and a trip to the national auto skills competition.
Ten teams, each comprised of two high school students, competed in the Ford/AAA student auto skills challenge state hands-on competition. Ten bugs were intentionally installed into ten identical 2013 Ford Focuses and the teams raced against the clock as they tried to identify the bugs and repair them. After fixing the vehicles, the students had to drive their cards across the finish line where their accuracy and workmanship will be judged.
"First of all what we're looking for is quality of repair," said Ford Technical Support Operations Manager Troy Kimmerle. "There's also a time factor involved. But the priority spent is spent on making sure that the vehicle is fixed right the first time in addition to the fact that they put the vehicle together and make sure everything is restored to original equipment condition"
Cory Buckley and Allen Morris III from Paris Gibson High School Learning Center in Great Falls won first place. Both of them won $3,000 in scholarship money and will go on to nationals. Both teams from Billings Career Center placed 2nd and 3rd, Winning $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.