OHS auto students compete

Mike McDonough performs diagnostics using a scan tool.
Mike McDonough performs diagnostics using a scan tool.

Sixteen Oxford High School auto students put their knowledge to the test last week as they went head-to-head during the annual Mini-MITES competition.

They demonstrated their skills and competence in five categories – brakes (identification and assembly); suspension, steering and alignment; automotive measurement; scan tool diagnostics; and electrical diagnosis. They also took a written test to gauge their general knowledge.

Austin Hunter took first place in the competition, Dylan Troutt placed second and Jacob Currie came in third.

Auto Instructor Dan Balsley started the Mini-MITES competition in 2014. He was inspired by the state competition.

Every year, MITES, which stands for Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society, hosts a competition for high school students studying the various skilled trades.

Balsley established a smaller version of the competition as a way to motivate his Auto Technology 2 students.

“I’m using the students’ competitive nature to inspire them to be just a little bit better – to study, to prepare, to learn the material and develop their skills,” he explained. “They get excited about it.”

Six Auto Technology 3 students supervised the contest stations and competitors.

In addition to the overall winners, there were first through third place finishers in each category. Here they are:

• Brakes – Dylan Troutt (first), Austin Hunter (second) and Kyle Kalbfleisch (third).

• Steering, alignment and suspension – Jacob Currie (first), Christian Cartner (second) and Dylan Troutt (third).

• Electrical diagnosis – Jacob Currie (first), Austin Hunter (second) and Ben LaRock (third).

• Scan tool diagnostics – Evan Gasparott (first), Jacob Currie (second) and Ben LaRock (third).

• Automotive measurement – Brad Weltyk (first), Austin Hunter (second) and Dylan Troutt (third).

• Written test – Kyle Kalbfleisch (first), Evan Gasparott (second) and Dylan Troutt (third).


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