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This summer, more than 30 high school students from Montgomery County learned how to inspect an engine, rotate tires, and change spark plugs.  The Summer RISE initiative, led by the Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) Partnerships Unit in collaboration with businesses, government agencies, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations, was open to MCPS junior and seniors. Students had the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning opportunities by either shadowing someone or by taking a class with a professor.

Juniors and seniors in high school had access to hands-on training in auto repair.

MCPS student Anna Craun says she didn’t know anything about cars before her first day but was glad she signed up for the hands-on sessions: “Even if I don’t pursue this career in the future, I still learned a lot of valuable skills.”

Likewise, Pratyusha Mandal, another MCPS student, reported the practical benefits of the program:

“Even though I am interested in the biomedical engineering field, learning how to replace a spare tire, how an engine is built, how a combustion engine works, what the workshop looks like, and many more skills was really interesting.”

Learning how to replace a spare tire, how an engine is built, how a combustion engine works, what the workshop looks like, and many more skills was really interesting.

“The Summer RISE students were very curious, engaging and very willing to participate in the activities we had planned,” said Michael Carretta, the College’s automotive program director and host of the class.

Michael Carretta offers guidance to a student at the Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education.

The program aims to reach students who may be exploring future careers, says Community Engagement Director Karla Silvestre. “We were thrilled to host the Summer RISE students in our automotive technology program, thanks to Professor Carretta and his team. In addition to the hands-on experiences, they also provided guest speakers and factory training.”

Carretta emphasized that the automotive program will continue to participate in the Summer RISE Program in the future. Next summer, they plan to offer a “part-two” program for students who want to return for a more advanced offering, as well as continue with a first-year experience for new students.

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