Two full-size school buses made their way to the auto show, and Hopkins Honda, where area high school students were given a tasty pizza lunch, and a look inside the real world of the automotive business.
Students got to see the volume of vehicles in the shop, the fast production setting and the technical aspects of newer cars, explains automotive instructor John Preston with Intermediate District 287. “When we’re working on cars at school, we’re taking apart things but we can’t see what the work environment’s like.”
Students from Wayzata to Richfield, and on up to Maple Grove heard thorough explanations from Honda leaders, who showed them the service operation. District 287 is a consortium of 12 west metro school districts with more than 120 programs and services. This group is connected with the Career and Technical Education program.
The reality, Preston said, is that about 10 percent of the group will choose an automotive career. Conveying the sense of accomplishment an automotive career provides is part of the instructor’s challenge. “A lot of it is allowing them to make the mistakes and learn from them,” he said. Many of the students on the tour learn better by doing than by studying books, Preston explained.
Another student said he likes working on cars, but doesn’t know what he wants to do next. Technical school graduates typically have more employment opportunities than young people with a bachelor’s degree, explained one of Luther’s hosts.