ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – Students at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg are turning to virtual reality to learn how to repair cars faster, easier and safer. This comes as new technologies in the auto industry evolve and there is an urgent need for auto technicians statewide.
From building robots to dismantling car engines, 12e grader Caroline Daley loves to learn on the job. âMore and more I realize how much I love the automotive business and I love what it does for people because everyone needs to work on their car,â she explained.
Usually you’ll find her with her classmates huddled under a car at the Pinellas County Schools Automotive Technology Center inside Northeast High School. But now virtual reality is helping Caroline and her classmates understand the intricacies of auto parts before they even pick up a key.
âThere are so many things, especially when you get to electric and hybrid vehicles, that can be dangerous, but because we use AR technology, we can dissect pieces of a car safe and that gives us a level of deeper understanding as it explains step by step, âadded Daley.
Technology brings car parts to life in 3D, allowing students to assemble, disassemble, and diagnose problems.
The enhanced curriculum within Pinellas County schools is timely. The Institute for Automotive Service Excellence estimates that there will be 7,000 vacancies for automotive technicians in Florida alone over the next 5 years.
Through a partnership with Pinellas Technical College, students can achieve their certification in less than half the time it normally takes.
âEverything is now geared towards the idea of ââfinding jobs for students at 18 when they leave here and with our industry partners in the region we are able to achieve a placement rate of 90 to 95% for all students who take the program, âexplained Automotive instructor Brian Johnson says he receives daily calls from local dealerships in hopes of hiring students.
NEHS is the only K-12 PCS school using zSpace virtual reality software
Northeast High School is one of 80 Pinellas County Schools Magnetic, Fundamental and Vocational Programs tailored to students’ interests, talents and abilities. The district will showcase all of the district’s app programs at three shows this month, starting with a Facebook / YouTube live event on October 12 for a general overview and Q&A.
The application period is not until January (January 5-14), but district leaders hope to give families a chance to start researching and thinking about their options.
District Application Programs – Magnet and Fundamentals Programs
12 October 2021
Live event on Facebook and YouTube: All DAP
6.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.
(link of messages from October 1)
October 19, 2021
North County DAP Fair
Tarpon Springs High School
1411, chemin du Golfe. Tarpon Springs 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
https://www.pcsb.org/Page/32308#calendar55172/20211030/event/272886 [pcsb.org] (schools attended)
23 October 2021
DAP Fair of All Counties
Largo high school
410 Missouri Ave. N, Largo
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
https://www.pcsb.org/Page/32308#calendar55172/20211030/event/272887 [pcsb.org] (schools attended)
October 26, 2021
South County DAP Fair at Northeast High School
5500 16eSaint-N, Saint-Petersburg
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
https://www.pcsb.org/Page/32308#calendar55172/20211026/event/272888 [pcsb.org](schools attended)