By AKBAR AMIN
It is common for students to get their own cars during high school, but a lot of them do not know how to fix their cars in case of an accident or emergency. However, UHS offers a unique course for car fanatics or future mechanics: Automotive Technology.
Automotive Technology, more commonly known as “Autoshop” on campus, is an elective class taught by Mr. Alonzo (Auto Dept.) that takes place during fifth period. It is located near the senior parking lot and the 400 building. The class focuses on learning about car part functions and being able to do basic car tests such as lubricating, adjusting brakes, and oil changes.
One of the reasons why students enjoy Autoshop so much is because they are allowed to bring their own cars in for repairs, adjustments, and upgrades. “My favorite thing about Autoshop is the fact that we can work on our own cars,” Nathen Chen (Sr.), an Autoshop student, said. “Mr. Alonzo lets us bring in our cars and fix up whatever’s wrong, such as replacing my Audi’s brake calipers and rotors.”
According to Chen, a regular day in Autoshop consists of Mr. Alonzo giving small lectures about different functions of a car, such as the exhaust system, different engine types, and brake systems. After, students head over to the “shop” or working area where they do handiwork on student-brought vehicles or a sample vehicle.
Autoshop is not just a UHS class; it also a Regional Occupational Program (ROP) course that simulates similar practices that the UHS class does. The class takes place after school on select days and is taught by Mr. Alonzo. “The Uni class and the ROP class are really similar, except that the ROP class is longer so it covers more areas in a day,” said Bhavik Patel (Sr.), who had experience in both classes. “The really cool thing about the ROP class is that at the end, students are required to intern at actual auto shops and work side-by-side with car mechanics.”
As Autoshop becomes a more popular class, students may be required to take a Beginners Autoshop class that is currently in development. “Autoshop definitely requires some previous knowledge about cars to keep up with the class, so a beginners course should be mandatory,” said Chen. “I would recommend Autoshop to anyone who has any interest in cars and anyone who wants to be in a fun learning environment.”