Area 30 project makes strong showing
GREENCASTLE -- "Blue on Black" was the theme for a 1996 Camaro Z28 restored by automotive collision and services technology students at Area 30 Career Center.
"(The theme) came from a song by Kenny Wayne Shepherd," explained Jerry Spackman, automotive services technology instructor.
The Z28 was donated to the career center and transformed into an eye-catching piece of work. The black finish is topped with blue "flames" shooting up its hood and sides and the words "Blue on Black" scrawled across the front windshield.
"The kids got to see junk ready for the scrap yard to placing at a car show," said Spackman.
The tricked out sports car took second place in the mild hardtop category at World of Wheels -- a national car show with professionally modified vehicles. A version of the show came to the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and the Area 30 car competed against roughly 250 other vehicles.
"It felt great to get second place," said Area 30 student Kyle Arnett, a senior at Owen Valley High School. "I love the hands on experience (the class) gives me."
Arnett said he watched his dad work on cars and wanted to learn the skills to be a mechanic. He joined the automotive class last year and said it is amazing how much he has learned.
"Even during snow days," said Spackman, "the students were calling (Rob Worman, automotive collision technology instructor) and I to open the garage so they could work on the car."
The car was a project for seniors in the automotive collision technology and automotive services technology classes. All in all, there were about 40 students (juniors and seniors) who had a hand in rebuilding the car.
At Area 30, high school juniors and seniors can enroll in the automotive services technology class, which will teach them how to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair engines and other automotive systems while servicing and maintaining a variety of automobiles, trucks and vans.
Students enrolled in the automotive collision technology course will learn how to operate and maintain a variety of tools and equipment used in the basics of painting, refinishing and collision repair.
While those are just two of the many programs offered at Area 30, all students have the chance to explore options for their futures. Greencastle High School junior Krystal Trimble is enrolled in the teacher education program at Area 30.
"Area 30 has helped me invest in my future by allowing me to experience a career of my choice -- teacher education," she said. "It has helped me decide on my career, pointed out my strengths and weaknesses and helped me improve."
The career center provides half-day career and technical education programs for juniors and seniors, at least 16 years of age, who are enrolled at Cloverdale, Eminence, Greencastle, North Putnam, Owen Valley and South Putnam high schools.
The two-year sequenced career and technical education programs are high school electives. High school juniors can participate for two years, making them eligible for the maximum number of high school and college credits available in their chosen program.
These career and technical education programs prepare students for post-secondary education and workplace opportunities. They teach vital skills, such as cooperation, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, flexibility and dependability.
"The students had to talk to judges, staff and others at the show," noted Spackman. "It helped with social skills."
The students who worked on the tricked out sports car are also now eligible for scholarships.