Lifestyle Briefs: Students win automotive technology competition

January 28. 2018 2:24AM

From left, senior Aaron Wessling, Seacoast School of Technology automotive technologies teacher Paul Yergeau and senior Andrew Gelina display the trophy from the state Automotive Technology Competition. (Courtesy SAU 16)

Students win automotive technology competition

EXETER - Two students at the Seacoast School of Technology won the state Automotive Technology Competition this month, earning them scholarships.

Seniors Aaron Wessling of Epping High School and Andrew Gelina of Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston went to Lakes Region Community College on Jan. 13 to test their technical knowledge and skills.

The two, along with all New Hampshire auto tech seniors, completed a written exam Dec. 1. Seacoast School of Technology, or SST, earned a spot as one of the top-10 scoring schools, and Gelina and Wessling were invited to participate in the competition, along with nine other two-person teams from surrounding schools.

At the competition, Gelina and Wessling worked to identify, diagnose and repair four problems on a 2015 Toyota Camry: why the vehicle would not start, why the engine would not turn over, what caused the engine to misfire and what led to an emission error. Judges awarded points based on the accuracy and speed at which the faults were identified, documented or resolved to get the "clean vehicle" over the finish line.

For their win, Gelina and Wessling each received a $2,000 scholarship that can be used at any New Hampshire community college automotive program, along with a trophy and first-place medals. The pair also qualified to compete in the National Automotive Technology Contest during the New York International Auto Show on April 3 and 4.

SST is a regional career and technical center serveing students from Epping, Exeter, Newmarket, Raymond, Sanborn Regional and Winnacunnet high schools. For more, visit

School grants awarded to foster NH maple education

Five New Hampshire schools have been awarded mini-grants for maple production equipment from the NH Agriculture in the Classroom program.

To encourage more N.H. schools to participate in the Tucker Mountain Challenge, a maple syrup production contest, the program offered mini-grants to help alleviate the cost. Grants were awarded based on the teacher's plan for maple production and the incorporation of other agricultural components in their curriculum. Teachers could apply for a grant for either supplies for tree tapping and syrup testing or supplies to help build an evaporator for making syrup.

The 2017 grant winners are: fourth-grade class, Lincoln Street School, Exeter; sixth-grade class, Pine Tree Elementary, Conway; seventh and eighth grade science class, Paul Elementary School, Sanbornville; eighth-grade math class, Somersworth Middle School; and ninth-12th grade math class, Robert J. Lister Academy, Portsmouth.

NH Agriculture in the Classroom, a partner with the N.H. Maple Producers Association, has been creating maple education resources that highlight academic concepts involved in syrup production. These free resources are available to educators statewide. For more about the program, go to

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