Utah students take fourth in national auto repair competition
Published: June 15, 2012 09:38PM
Updated: June 20, 2012 01:07PM
Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Riverton High School students Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins stand next to a Ford Fusion as their work is judged during the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition at the Salt Lake Community College MIller Campus in Sandy on April 26, 2012. After winning the state competition, they competed and placed fourth at the recent national competition.

Riverton High School students Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins captured fourth place in the National Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition in Dearborn, Mich., this week.

The competition pitted two-person teams from all 50 states against one another as they rushed to solve “real world” automotive repair challenges.

Kearns and Adkins and their instructor Jay Hales won the Utah competition earlier this year and earned the right to compete in the national contest held at the Ford world headquarters.

At the start of the competition, the student teams raced to their vehicles to review a work order that challenged them to diagnose and repair a number of purposefully placed “bugs,” ranging from digital to mechanical and electrical.

The same bugs were placed on each team’s vehicle.

Once the repairs were completed, it was a race to shut the hood, start the engine and steer the vehicle across the finish line to where judges waited to scrutinize their efforts. The time and thoroughness of the repairs combined with the results of a written examination determined the winners.

Nearly $12 million in scholarships were awarded in the state and national competitions this year.