It is the second year of building the drift car here at SCHS, but it is just as exciting as if it were the first. Last year, students in Skills USA had the opportunity to build a drift car. When the car was finished, those that helped took it out to the track and tested it out in the spring.
When they tested it out, the group took note on what needed to be fixed. This year has been devoted on improving the drift car. There are about 14 kids working on it, and many are fresh faces. One returning student, senior Joe Cook, loves cars. Cook likes working on the car this year a little more than last year.
“It was cool building it from scratch,” said Cook. “Also to see how we could improve on it and make it run smoother. I think that part is better”
Cook worked at the drift track over the summer. He has knowledge about drift cars, which makes him great to work on the car this year. Cook is very smart when it comes to cars and hopes to work with them in his future. He hopes that this year the car will work better than last year.
“Running it last year was pretty good,” said Cook, “but it showed us what we had to change for it to run great. Now we fix it up and make it better looking.”
Another senior, Jordan Laehn, also worked on the car last year. He is also very knowledgeable about cars. Laehn and Cook agree on many things, but this is not one. Laehn believes that last year was better because they built it from the wheels up.
“Yeah, it was pretty fun putting it together last year,” said Laehn, “and then take it out and see it go. That was the best part.”
It is clear to see that for Laehn, his favorite part of the whole thing was building it. It was a tough task to build it last year. It took many hours and a lot of effort from the students. The car is not much different this year.
Although they are not building a whole new car, the students are working on it and continuously making improvements. This year, the car has its own challenges, and it requires the students to work not only with each other, but with their teacher as well.
Teacher and overseer of the project, Mr. Jeremy Hodkiewicz also enjoys this project very much. Mr. Hodkiewicz has always had a passion for racing, so this project was a great one for him. Plus, working with the students is also fun for him.
“It’s fun to see the students’ growth throughout this project,” said Hodkiewicz. “They go from not being able to drive this car to being able to drift a whole track. This is very fun project.”
Mr. Hodkiewicz loves this type of work and involvement with his students, but it is not just them working on it. Parent involvement plays a big part in it, too. Once a week, fathers and sons meet and work together on the car, which is a great bonding experience.
This is a tradition that students hope will be kept here at SCHS and inspire other teachers to do the same. It is great for student, instructor and parent involvement. It is also great for students to see what types of different careers and lines of work they would like to get into in the future. So all in all, this project was a great success for SCHS, and many hope it will be continued for a long time.