by: Jake Lepore and Zeeshan Haider
Through the Wethersfield Education Foundation, Monaco Ford donated a 2003 Ford Explorer to Wethersfield High School on September 19, 2018 so that students can learn basic automotive skills and have hands-on experience with a car.
The car is used in the Transportation & Alternative Energy class taught by Mr. Behn Sikora. Mr. Sikora is known in the school for teaching Tech-Ed electives like Robotics and Construction Technology.
Although it is a half-year class, Transportation & Alternative Energy covers all four modes of transportation, that being by air, water, space, and land. In each subsection of transportation, students learn about the different parts in vehicles that make transportation possible and the many ways that each section has changed over the years.
Thanks to the donation by Monaco Ford, the class now features a hands-on learning experience with cars. Students learn how to perform basic car owner tasks like changing the oil and they even get to rotate the tires as a group.
One of the most well received in class projects that students work on is the lawn mower disassembly. Students take apart lawnmowers in the automotive shop to see the many mechanisms that make the everyday tool so efficient. Personally, this was our favorite part about the class (car aside) because it was really interesting to see all of the parts and how they work together.
Mr. Sikora also shared his opinion on his favorite part of the class, and it is very similar to the thought of the students. “As with all the classes I teach, I love the hands-on nature of the class. I enjoy the different activities we complete in the class. I feel very fortunate to have students that want to work with tools and machines, a great facility and the ability to facilitate students learning. I enjoy learning with the students.”
When asked about the importance of the class, Mr. Sikora had a lot to say, and it showed how much he cared about this class and what he wanted students to get out of it.
“I do believe automotive skills are important because cars are a big part of our culture. I think it is important for everyone to know how to do basic maintenance on their car, including changing a tire, filling a tire, and changing oil. Even though cars are getting more advanced and more technological, there are still basic skills car owners should know.”
“There are so many career opportunities related to the automotive field, including sales, maintenance, engineering, technicians, welding, robotics, and programming, just to name a few,” Sikora said.
Senior Matt Accarpio, who was in the transportation class last semester, told us all about his experience in the class. “It was one of the best classes that I have taken in the school. It not only teaches you basic car knowledge, but it also teaches you how to use that knowledge and physically work on your own car”.
Another great part about the class is the attention that it’s getting. Shortly after the Explorer arrived at the school, a family donated a barely used Honda Civic and so now, future students have two cars to work on.
With the addition of the donated cars, the Transportation & Alternative Energy class is even better than it was before. This class is available for all students in the high school and you can take it in either semester, making the course a very attractive option for all students.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.