I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about cars.
When there’s an issue with mine, I bring it to the garage and leave it to the professionals. After all, unless you know what you’re doing, it’s best not to tinker around with something that you plan on driving around others. Even if you’re going 30 miles per hour (the posted limit for city streets), that’s still pretty fast if something were to go wrong.
I wish I knew more, but I don’t. Although, there’s no time like the present to learn.
And if I happened to be a female student at Concord High, I would definitely take advantage of a new after school program offered by the Concord Regional Technical Center and the 21C After School Program.
It’s called All Girls Garage, and it’s basically an introduction to the automotive industry, as well as a way to teach some of the basics when it comes to owning and maintaining a vehicle.
Abigail McIntosh, a graduate of the CRTC automotive program who is pursuing a degree through Lakes Region Community College, will be teaching the program created by CRTC automotive technology instructor Scott Mayotte.
“It’s a good way for young girls to decide if it’s something they want to do, and if not, it will give them enough knowledge to be confident about their own vehicles,” said McIntosh, who is an apprentice technician at Banks Chevrolet.
The program is open to 12 students and begins Oct. 11, and will be held every Wednesday for six weeks from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Each week will cover a different topic. On Oct. 11, students will learn how to check fluids and change their oil.
“Changing your oil is not only a simple thing, but the most important thing you can do to your car,” McIntosh said.
The following week will be about measuring brake pads and inspecting rotors to tell if you need brakes.
Oct. 25 is all about tires, from changing a flat to buying new ones. Nov. 1 is learning what the check engine light means – is it an easy fix or serious problem?
“It’s really important to not only know that you need your car serviced, but why it needs to be serviced,” McIntosh said.
Nov. 8 is a checklist for buying a used car, and the final week is a field trip to Banks Chevrolet.
As you can see, it’s some pretty useful information, even for those who have no interest or intention of going into an automotive field.
“When I was younger I really wanted to be a teacher, but my dad got me interested in this,” McIntosh said.
With this program, now she gets to both teach and work on cars.
Each week will be split between class time and shop work, although you’ll spend more time on actual cars, which have been donated to the CRTC automotive program. These are things that are much more easily learned through practice.
If this program is full, don’t worry, because the plan is to offer it three more times this school year.
For more info or to sign up, contact Kaleena Guzman at firstname.lastname@example.org.