• Large group of students at a Toyota dealership

     

    Automotive Technology class a pathway to college, careers

     CLINTON — Clinton High School sophomore Casey Upton first met Charlie Melton on the school bowling team.

    Melton, his coach, encouraged Casey to consider taking the course he teaches, Automotive Technology at the CHS Career Complex. 

    “I was already thinking about cars as something I wanted to do when I grew up,” he said. “I love the class, it’s awesome. We have learned how to change oil, brakes, how to torque wheels and rotate tires. We learned how to take tires on and off.”

    The Automotive Technology program is a two-year program that gives students hands-on opportunities to work with cars and learn valuable skills that will carry over in college and the workplace. 

    There are 33 students enrolled in the program. Students will compete in SkillsUSA this spring.

    In the first-year class, students first learn all the basics on the many different automotive systems, including brakes, starters, chargers, engine strokes, air conditioning and more. 

    “They get a taste of actually working on these systems by being given minor jobs in the shop,” said course instructor Charlie Melton. “The second-year class usually works on more challenging projects that take more concentration and more ingenuity to complete correctly.”

    Second-year projects include rebuilding engine top ends, rebuilding transmissions, replacing complete brake systems and diagnosing problems that were unable to be done by other shops.

    “Students who enter automotive class do not leave without the know-how to tackle a majority of the problems that come up, though this also relies on the will of the student,” Melton said. “From years past and years to come, the automotive technology class at CHS is a very influential and important class that the city of Clinton can be proud of.”