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GHS Senior Alex Jennings and his Teammate take home 2nd place in the prestigious Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge!

posted May 20, 2015, 11:37 AM by Dawna Green   [ updated May 20, 2015, 11:49 AM ]
Epping, NH 5/09/15:
Earlier this year, GHS Senior Alex “AJ” Jennings scored among the highest in the state in the Ford Automotive written challenge, earning him a spot in this year’s Annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge in Epping, NH. This is the 66th year of this prestigious event with 62 high school students from across the region vying for the top spot in the hands-on competition.

AJ and his teammate, who both attend P.A.T.H.S. in Portland, were challenged with repairing a “broken” 2015 Ford Fiesta SE. They were given a diagnostic report and had to race against the clock to find and repair the flaws, then return the car to “Showroom Floor” quality standards. A combination of an online written exam and the hands-on competition scores determine the winning team that will compete in the national finals at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. June 7-9, 2015. Any minor workmanship flaw or online omission creates demerits which take away from the overall speed (score) of the team.

Ultimately, AJ and his teammate had the fastest hood closing time, but 1 panel was not popped completely in place. The winning team actually left a tool in their car, but ended up with a slightly better score on their online portion, allowing them to win with a difference of only 1.40 seconds. It was a heartbreaker, but in the bigger picture, AJ and his teammate did an amazing accomplishment that they can be very proud of. There are approximately 10,000 students across the country who start this competition and only one team from Maine/New Hampshire & Vermont can make it to Dearborn.

On top of his 2nd place trophy, AJ earned a long list of scholarships including $7,500 to Ohio Tech, $6,000 to Northwest Ohio State & $1,500 Ford Assist. He is currently planning on attending CMTC in the fall. Keep an eye on AJ, we all want to know where the best of the best is working when we need him!