Auto technology students win state championship, head for nationals

Students pose with their instructor, holding their first-place trophies for Maine’s Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.
Alex Grover (left) and Noah Ufkin (right) celebrate with their instructor, John Carmichael, after their first-place victory in Maine’s Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.

Thanks to Portland Public Schools for sharing this release with the Maine DOE for publication.

A team of automotive technology students from Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) received first place in Maine’s Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition on May 11.

Twenty students representing 10 high schools across Maine put their automotive skills to the test by fixing mechanical problems on their assigned Ford cars. The team that fixed all of the problems on its car first won the competition.

The two students on the PATHS team, Alex Grover and Noah Ufkin, discovered more than a dozen “bugs” in 52 minutes. Alex, who attends Greely High School in addition to PATHS, and Noah, who attends Gray-New Gloucester High School, received a perfect score. Another PATHS team, made up of Deering High School students William Roberts and John Curtis, came in sixth place.

Alex and Noah won an all-expenses-paid trip for themselves and their instructor, John Carmichael, to Ford Motor Company Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan to compete in the national finals on June 11. They also were offered several scholarships of as much as $10,000 each for post-secondary automotive programs.

This is the 15th time in the past 25 years that a PATHS team has won the Maine competition and advanced to the nationals. In years past, 10 PATHS teams received trophies for scoring among the top 10 teams nationally.

The national finals include a written test and a hands-on competition. Students may win scholarships, apparel, certificates, shop manuals, trips and automotive equipment in addition to trophies. Opportunities with the Ford ASSET program will be available to many of the competition finalists.

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