PATHS students tops in auto repairs competition

A team of automotive technology students from Portland Arts and Technology High School received first place in Maine’s Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition on May 11.

Twenty students representing 10 high schools across Maine put their automotive skills to the test by fixing mechanical problems on their assigned cars. The team that fixed all of the problems on its car first won the competition.

PATHS students Alex Grover and Noah Ufkin discovered more than a dozen problems in 52 minutes and received perfect scores. Grover also attends Greely High School in Cumberland, and Ufkin attends Gray-New Gloucester High School. Another PATHS team, made up of Deering High School students William Roberts and John Curtis, finished sixth.

Grover and Ufkin won an all-expenses-paid trip for themselves and their instructor, John Carmichael, to Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., to compete in the national finals June 11. They also were offered several scholarships of as much as $10,000 each for postsecondary automotive programs.

This is the 15th time in the past 25 years that a PATHS team has won the Maine competition and advanced to the nationals. Ten PATHS teams received trophies for scoring among the top 10 teams nationally.

The national finals include a written test and a hands-on competition. Students may win scholarships, apparel, certificates, shop manuals, trips and automotive equipment in addition to trophies. Opportunities with the Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training, or ASSET, program will be available to many of the competition finalists.

Longfellow Elementary School students raise and release salmon

Fourth graders at Longfellow Elementary School raised salmon roe in their classrooms and released the hatched fish into a stream near Highland Lake in Westbrook as part of the Fish Friends program.

Run by the Atlantic Salmon Federation in partnership with the Maine Department of Fisheries, the program teaches students about the endangered Atlantic salmon, a native species. Longfellow teachers received a $900 grant from the Portland Education Foundation to pay for an aquarium, a water chiller to help nurture roe and other supplies.

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