Apollo students ready to roll in national automotive technology competition

Posted: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 2:18pm in News

(ST. CLOUD, Minn.) – Apollo High School students Theodore Pillsbury and Ethan Vanlonden will represent Minnesota at the National Automotive Technology Competition, April 22 and 23. The contest will be held in New York City in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show.

The competition is a test of skill, a measure of knowledge, and a race against the clock all rolled into one. It features hundreds of the nation’s best high school automotive education students competing for the title of Nation’s Best Automotive Technician.

Here’s how it works: The contests take place in two stages. First, each team is assigned a new car that is rigged with multiple computer and mechanical malfunctions. The student team must then diagnose and repair the “bugs” within the two hours allocated. Second, the students’ theoretical knowledge is tested through a series of challenging one-hour workstation tests

Byron Byker, SCTCC AYES instructor, said they will be spending the next six weeks preparing for the competition, which will include diagnosing problems on a 2014 Lexus RX 350 vehicle.

This year more than $3.5 million in prizes and scholarships will be offered to participating students and schools thanks to the generous support of almost every major automaker, industry supplier, local dealerships and dealer associations. The Competition is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pillsbury and Vanlonden competed against students from throughout Minnesota to earn their rank as the best in the state and compete at nationals. Their technical training is provided through the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), a part of Discovery Academy at St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC).

Discovery Academy is an initiative to provide an opportunity to take college courses in a high school setting. Courses are taught in various partner high schools by SCTCC instructors or specifically trained high school teachers. All courses earn a college transcript.

St. Cloud Technical & Community College also welcomes more than 200 high school students to campus each year through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO). Students save thousands of dollars by earning college credit for free during high school; credits transfer to all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Learn more.

Pillsbury, Byker, and Vanlonden
(Left to right) Theo Pillsbury, Byron Byker, and Ethan Vanlonden.

Contact Info

320.308.5000 or 1.800.222.1009

1540 Northway Drive
St. Cloud, MN 56303