Auto shop

Katy ISD takes a new approach to the automotive workshop class

You can’t beat the price: ten bucks to service your cooling system or change the oil and even major auto work like a front brake job will only set you back around $40.

But there’s a catch — you have to supply the parts and your mechanic isn’t old enough to vote.

“But they’re supervised,” said David Shair, of the automotive program at Katy ISD’s Miller Career & Technology Center. “We give them advice about it and then we just sit back and watch what they do.”

Junior Technicians – all Katy ISD students – learn to perform automotive repairs on most makes and models. The training combines classroom work with hands-on experience in a classroom that resembles a high-end garage.

“It’s a learning opportunity for students,” Shair said. “It gives them a great practical opportunity.”

Students have the opportunity to receive professional certification in auto repair, which can lead to a career immediately upon graduation from high school. But even those who don’t see themselves with a garage-focused career, Shair said, can benefit from participating in the program.

“If you take your car to the shop, you’ll know they’re doing the job right,” he said. “You will get an idea of ​​the cost of the work. You will be a more informed customer.

Work is more than being a fat monkey. Students also learn to use computer software that is part of the training, Shair said.

“We have a pretty serious manual but they don’t want to do the reading,” Shair said. “They just want to be in the store to work.”

Because they are high school students and have other responsibilities, junior mechanics are usually on the job for a relatively limited time. Automotive work that begins in one class may need to be completed by students in the next class.

“We usually try to let them know that it’s going to take a little longer than normal because of the way the class is structured,” Shair said. “A brake job can take them a day instead of an hour or two.”

Shair said some of her most loyal customers are Katy ISD staff.

“The faculty loves it. We’ve worked with a lot of them from here,” he said. “They bring their cars in the morning, drop them off and pick them up in the afternoon.”

He said community members are also more than welcome to participate. Shair said they would tell a potential customer which part to bring for repair work.

“We will let them know what they need. Then they will bring the parts and drop off (the car),” he said.

Car owners interested in participating in the program can contact [email protected] or [email protected].

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