Hunter auto teacher receives special training
Teachers, like most professionals, need continuing education to stay on top of their field. Hunter automotive teacher Matt Proctor recently attended the Universal Technical Institute’s training seminar at the school’s Avondale, Ariz. campus.
For Proctor, it was a chance to not only see the school many of his students attend after high school, but also to learn how to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math subjects into his classroom.
“It was an awesome experience to be able to go down to the school and participate in this training seminar,” he said. “It really opened up my eyes, and made me excited to get back to work teaching my students about the auto industry and how it relates to STEM topics.”
Proctor said UTI has been a good partner to high schools in Utah.
UTI recruiters make several in-class appearances to recruit top students interested in the auto industry. Proctor said because the auto industry is so technical now, students need more than just a high school education to compete in the auto field.
The two-day seminar focused on integrating STEM subjects into the auto shop curriculum. Proctor said he already teaches his students how Pascal’s Law, [the principle of the transmission of fluid mechanics] and physics relates to brake repair, and that an algebraic formula is used to determine engine size.
Proctor said most auto shop programs are working to rebrand the program’s image and make it more appealing to school districts and the legislature, so funding stays in place.
“Auto shop is unique because our students are exposed to all four aspects of STEM already,” he said. “This seminar helped me to see how I can better use these subjects to help my students be as advanced as they can be. ”
There is a need across the country for highly trained automotive technicians, Proctor said. This training helped him see how classes are taught at UTI and how to better prepare his students to go on to continue their education after high school.
By integrating STEM subjects, Proctor said his students will not only be smarter, but have a better understanding of why things work the way they do.
“We’re always trying to justify that auto shop has a place in the high schools,” he said. “This type of training and the use of STEM to teach will help show the legislature and the district how important this education is.”