The Provo High School Automotive Team recently beat every other high school to win the Ford-AAA Student Automotive Skill Contest. Parker Thomas and Jimmy Hicken formed the championship-winning team that scored well on a 50-question written test and then qualified to compete in the hands-on competition. This year’s hands-on contest consisted of 10 identical new Ford Focus vehicles with identical problems intentionally placed in each car. The team that identified and repaired all the “bugs” first won the grand prize and a chance to compete at the national level in Dearborn, Michigan. Provo High pinpointed and repaired all the problems perfectly with the fastest time.
Parker and Jimmy were awarded many tools and equipment and several scholarships for their outstanding performance, but took away a lot more than that from the competition, said Seth McVea, Provo High’s Automotive teacher.
“In preparing for, and competing in the contest, Parker and Jimmy learned the value of teamwork, critical thinking and most importantly, problem solving skills,” McVea said. “They learned how to perform under extreme pressures.”
Mr. McVea couldn’t image a better end to the school year and said these two students worked especially hard to prepare and had a special drive to succeed. “This was and will be a highlight in my teaching career,” Mr. McVea said, a third-year teacher at Provo High. “These two students wanted to win. They spent many hours studying and preparing for this contest. To see that hard work and determination pay off was so worth it. They are both driven and extremely proactive about the automotive industry. It’s moments like this that you can’t put a price on.”