John Parker and Mark LeBlanc, two automotive technology students at South Arkansas Community College's Secondary Technical Center, will compete in the Hands-On Ford-AAA Student Auto Skills State Quality Care Challenge in Little Rock on Friday.
The contest will feature 10 two-person teams from 10 automotive technology programs across the state. They will race against a clock to diagnose and repair deliberately "bugged" 2013 Ford vehicles. At stake is more than $120,000 in scholarships to technical colleges, and a trip to Dearborn, Mich., to represent Arkansas in the national finals in June at Ford's world headquarters.
Parker and LeBlanc qualified for this state finals contest by placing in a written examination competition open to all automotive technology students in Arkansas high schools. Kartsten Tidwell is the students' instructor at SouthArk and will accompany the students to the contest.