LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Shop class is no longer just about nuts and bolts. It’s about understanding computer technology, that’s why a school within the Clark County School District plans to spend thousands of dollars investing in automotive careers. The money will be spent on equipment to enhance student’s abilities to work on cars.
“We did the water pump, right now we’re just getting the timing belt back on.”, said Erik Halverson and his classmate as they made repairs on the assistant principal’s car.
It’s all a part of their education in the auto mechanic program at Southeast Career Technical Academy.
But the program isn’t your grandfather’s shop class.
“Everything used to be turning a wrench, now it’s a lot more [of the] computer side,” Halverson said.
“Now, we’ve got to diagnose things, understand electricity, understand problem-solving, and our students need that exposure and experience,” said Ryan Cordia, the principal at Southeast Career Technical Academy.
The school plans to buy nearly $137,00 of new equipment. An investment approved at the last board of trustees meeting.
“This is three years worth of our rollover funds,” Cordia said. “Because we’re allowed to control our budgets, we’ve been saving up so we can make this purchase to update our technician field.”
The school will upgrade the shop with six trainer boards. There will also be educational tools allowing students to see the individual systems in an engine before working on a car as a whole.
“Up until now, the way automotive shop has been taught is, everyone gathers around one car while one person does the work, and we hope everyone is paying attention,” said Cordia.
“I think the spectrum of cars that I can work on will broaden,” Halverson said.
The principal expects the new equipment to get here in the next few months, so students will likely start using it in the upcoming academic year.
Roughly 30 students graduate from the program each year as a ready to pay auto technician.