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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

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Auto Tech Students Advance To State In SkillsUSA Competition

Photo courtesy of Ryan Dane
Sophomore Shawn Roberts welds components of the “Scorpion Kart” frame.

Junior Ryan Dane, sophomore Shawn Roberts and sophomore Sean Smith will make their way to Corpus Christi to participate in the state level SkillsUSA Automotive challenge from April 4-6. 

“The job exhibit is for students to perform automotive tasks and document them,” auto tech teacher Ben Boyd said. 

This year, the students were assigned with the project of creating a three-wheeled go-kart.

“We had a list of things we could build, and we ended up choosing what we like to call the ‘scorpion kart,’” Dane said. “Mr. Boyd printed the blueprints and provided us with steel tubes we could cut and weld together. We pretty much followed the instructions like it was grown-up Legos, cutting metal, welding it together, and mounting wheels.”

Sophomore Shawn Smith tests the ergonomics of the “Scorpion Kart” in the Automotive building
after assembling all of the pieces. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Dane)

Students had to use various skills, such as geometry, to document and work on the creation of the kart. 

“They had to use various tools to measure and cut metal raw materials to length and angles to build the chassis of the cart, much like building an automobile,” Boyd said. “They then had to weld it together.”

In order to advance to state, students had to do well on ‘The Notebook Contest’ which Boyd said is “designed to encourage students to keep a notebook documenting and recording the diagnosing and repairing of vehicle systems using current industry standard information systems and procedures.”

“The student should demonstrate the use of proper English, math and science in the project,” Boyd said. “Academics should be a major emphasis in the notebook. All text should be typed or computer generated. The use of preprinted materials such as Mitchell on Demand, All Data or Manufacturer Service Manuals is allowed only as reference material of technical specifications or of specific repair procedures and will not replace the student narrative.”

The notebook students created is scored based on a rubric, and the amount of points made by each team from the rubric determines their rankings among other opponents. 

“When I learned that we scored 192 points out of 200 it felt pretty great,” Dane said. “I felt like we were being validated for all the hard work we put into this project and the documenting of all of our steps.”

Dane said he is looking forward to the state competition.

“I think having the opportunity to present this project with my friends is super exciting,” he said.

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