Two seniors from Norwich Technical High School, Norwich, Connecticut, Devin Bialek and Johnathan O’Neill finished in 1st place at the 2016 National Automotive Technology Competition. The students, who can now call themselves “America’s Top Technicians” were sponsored by the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association and beat out 29 other teams from across the country to win the national competition. It is the first time that a team from Connecticut has won the competition. The National Competition includes 10 workstations (job interview, CAN Bus (controller area network), STEM, brakes, wheel alignment and balance, wiring repair, information retrieval, hybrid vehicle repair, mechanical, SP/2 shop safety) and diagnosing and fixing a ‘bugged’ automobile.
“Computer systems dominate today’s new cars so the students who make it to the finals of this competition have shown that they have an extraordinary ability to combine highly technical knowhow with problem-solving abilities. We need these highly motivated and talented young people in dealerships across the country to make sure vehicle owners have access to technicians with the best computer and technical skills,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which organizes and sponsors the annual event.
The National Finals, held in New York in conjunction with the New York International Automobile Show, are possible thanks to the generous contributions of over 125 industry sponsors including automakers, industry organizations, OEM suppliers, educational institutions, and dealers associations from across the country. This year, prizes and scholarships totaling more than $3 million were awarded to the participants. Snap-on, the competition’s Official Tool Supplier, provided tool sets to all competitors.
“High quality vocational training is a critical part of our nation’s education needs and this competition is designed to encourage more rigorous standards for vocational education to ensure students master the skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners, workers and citizens,” continued Schienberg.
From 1993 to today, the National Automotive Technology Competition has brought the nation’s best high school automotive technicians to test their skills, measure their knowledge, and challenge their ability to diagnose and repair vehicles.
Students: Devin Bialek and Johnathan O’Neill (Team Mazda)
School: Norwich Technical High School, Norwich, CT
Instructor: Peter Fiasconaro
Association: Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association
To see the full list of competition results, click HERE.
How the Contest Works
The rules of the contest are simple. Each team of students is assigned an automobile that is rigged to malfunction in a number of ways. Using a repair order with actual customer complaints, the student teams must diagnose and repair the problem within the allotted time, using the manufacturer’s specialty tools. Each “bug” correctly diagnosed and repaired is worth a number of points, depending on the level of difficulty.
In addition, the students’ knowledge of emissions control systems, alignment, electrical test equipment, airbag components, oscilloscope usage and mechanical measurement equipment is tested during a series of intensive work station sessions. To prepare for the competition, students are trained at local new car dealerships and the skills they learn from master technicians prepare them to succeed in the working world.
SOURCE: Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association