Two Maui High School students took fifth place in the 65th annual Ford/AA Student Auto Skills competition Tuesday at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
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Chayce Mimura and Devin Vea took fifth place in a competition that began with more than 13,000 entrants nationwide earlier this year.
Mimura and Vea's instructor, Neill Nakamura, was also there for the competition.
With more than $10 million in scholarship prizes in the balance, state winners gathered in Dearborn to solve "real world" automotive challenges – both digital and mechanical – in a timed competition.
A quick mind and steady hands were required as top auto students worked with wrenches and computers alike. With automotive sales up across the board, and new and innovative technologies becoming a bigger part of the manufacturing process, the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition is shaping the next generation of auto technicians who will work on these vehicles.
Beginning with a shotgun start, the student competitors raced to their vehicles to review a work order that challenged them to diagnose and repair a number of purposefully placed "bugs" ranging from digital to mechanical and electrical.
Once the repairs were completed, it was a race to shut the hood, fire up the engine and steer the vehicle across the finish line – where a scrutinizing judging team awaited.
Students are graded on quality repair workmanship and safety combined with the results of a written examination taken on June 9.
This was at least the second year in a row a team from Maui High took fifth place in the national competition.