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  • Writer's pictureSarah Samra

Kennedy's Zero-Emissions Automotive Pathway teaches skills, tunes up future of transportation

By Sarah Samra, Clarion Staff reporter

Attention all car enthusiasts and aspiring mechanics: the Kennedy Zero-Emissions Automotive Pathway lets students explore the world of automotive technology. That includes basic car maintenance and repairs to advanced diagnostic techniques, in an auto shop setting. Students also learn about the history of automobiles, automotive design principles, and the future of transportation technology. Students interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry, or who want to learn more about cars for personal knowledge, dive into the transportation industry via the pathway.

Kennedy Pathway teacher JB Polanco believes that teaching automotive technology is incredibly valuable for students and the transportation industry. He emphasizes that students not only learn a lot in the class, but they also have fun while doing so.

“I am truly happy when students are learning and having fun in class," Polanco says. "Learning shouldn't be boring; it should be enjoyable and engaging. My goal is to teach in a way that is both educational and fun at the same time.”  

Polanco points out that learning automotive skills is essential for students because it can help them save money by being able to fix their own cars instead of paying thousands of dollars at a repair shop. He expresses his enjoyment in teaching this class and seeing students gain valuable skills that will help them transition into college and careers.

Kennedy Junior Noe Gomez-Chavez expressed that he gained valuable knowledge from the class. He highlighted that he now knows how to perform an oil change and is even earning money by offering this service to others. Additionally, he mentioned that he enjoyed the class and is learning a great deal about cars.

“Mr. Polanco will be teaching auto shop again next year, so I am taking it again. I encourage other students to take it as well because it is fun and you learn a lot.”

Kennedy Junior Elliott Stellmach mentioned that the class is excellent and highlighted the opportunity to collaborate with others in group work. Students have the chance to work on tasks like car brakes, pedals, and transmissions. Throughout the year, I have gained a lot of knowledge about car transmission and maintenance, such as the cost of changing a transmission being around a thousand dollars. I have learned valuable information about my own car and it has been a fun experience for students to bring in their cars and work on them in the class.

“I get to work on cars and socialize with people at the same time. This allows me to learn about cars and meet different people, expanding my knowledge and connections”.

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