🚘ESE Newsletter #5: Time circuits on... Flux Capacitor... fluxing... Engine running... All right!
Are you an Auto, Diesel, or Collision instructor? This one is for you. Ol’ Mercer is back again to speak on being an automotive elitist and to heap praise on days gone by.
Cars today are nearly all quality products when you consider the tasks they serve combined with their complexity. That is one of the reasons I cling to my old clunkers.
I’m on the road every single day, so my cars are very important to me despite the abuse they might take from what I ask of them.
However, I do have to stop and think to myself, “Do I really love the old ones, or am I just too fearful of the new ones?”
MAF Sensors, TPS, Crank Position Sensors, Cam Position Sensors, MAP Sensors, Knock Sensors, Coolant Temp Sensors, O2 Sensors, and Speed Sensors: While that might seem complicated, these are all crucial components in the systems that keep my cars going and keep me going.
Any mechanical or electrical failure in these systems is easy enough for me to handle as my 96 Lexus takes me in soft, retiree-like comfort to appointments, or as my 99 Miata whips around corners in the Allegheny National Forest on a sunny day, or even as my 01 CR-V trudges through snow, salt, and slush with way too much gear rattling around in the back.
While I love all these cars, the CR-V is a particularly interesting case. It dutifully sits outside waiting for me to burden it with my next task.
To most, it is a mess of a vehicle. To me, it is glorious… I love nearly everything about it.
From its hideous, faded gold paint, to the scratches and dents caused by the Buick who rear-ended me on the ramp from 279N to 28N and slammed me into the Subaru in front of me.
(No repairs were ever needed!)
Even down to the loose exterior trim and the torn driver’s seat leather (or fake leather.)
I even like the freedom of not worrying about destroying the interior since a kerosene heater leaked all over the back a few months ago.
Whenever I get out of the CR-V, I smell like I just smuggled myself into the Miami airport in the wing of a 737!
All of this combined with a weird, sadistic pleasure I get when I must explain to others the very specific trick to getting the rear hatch to open and close correctly. As if it requires a video game cheat code comprised of rods, levers, and latches instead of buttons on a controller. (↑↑↓↓ ← → ← → B A Select Start)
Even though parts are constantly breaking on the CR-V and most people would have junked it long ago, I continue driving it beyond the distance from the earth to the moon with more confidence in it and myself than ever.
Every time something breaks, I know immediately, due to my strangely deep connection with this car, exactly what broke and how I can go about fixing it. I could never say the same for most vehicles that have yet to reach drinking age.
If your average car buyer were me, you would be in great shape continuing to train our technicians on 12-volt systems, simple sensors, and mechanical component replacement.
Fortunately, most people don’t have to follow my path as I’m the exception and my fleet of noisy, simple, semi-broken dinosaurs is a dying breed.
Highlight From Our Region
Last week, our partner, Megatech hosted ESE in their Tewksbury, Massachusetts HQ to highlight some ways in which they are helping schools prepare students to understand the growing complexity in the automotive landscape.
I’m being dragged into that future kicking and screaming, but there is no doubt that it is here and taking over in force no matter how intimidated I might be as I look over a functioning cutaway of a Continuously Variable Transmission that was recently completed.
In addition to addressing the automotive past (my current lifestyle,) you must safely train students using hands-on trainers and demonstrators on everything from the litany of sensors that are standard now for complex ADAS systems and the expensive, added complexity of downsized and turbocharged engines.
On top of that, electrification is here and by executive order announced last week, will basically be mandatory for new vehicles by the 50MPG standard beginning in 2026.
While there aren’t any ramifications for me living in the past, you do not benefit (or suffer) from that burden.
We will be putting together a workshop with Megatech to help you.
Which of the following topics would be the best use of your professional development hours?
Hybrid and EV?
ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems)?
Drop me a line with your response and while you’re at it, wish me luck in my quarter-million-mile trek back from the moon!
Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow: Transparent Glass Cylinder Engine with Dyno
Studying 4-cycle engines in theory is fine, but the benchtop MEG150 can show this off in full functional transparency. Utilizing a variety of fuels to allow a range of measurements on the attached dynamometer.
Your students didn’t come to your shop to learn the fundamentals through a presentation on a computer. They came to get hands-on and see it in action, so don’t bore them!
I can attest first-hand that the Transparent Engine is the best attention grabber to provide learning content to your students. Seeing the combustion and hearing the engine noise in full force will guarantee your students won’t be focused on anything else.
Custom fabrication for Cut-a-ways
Megatech’s in-house fabrication shop can get you inside the most complex and sophisticated light, mid, and heavy-duty components and systems. While I understand vehicles and their components quite well, every time I get to see a cut-a-way from Megatech, I come away with even more knowledge. Phil, the Mad Scientist and Doc Fabricator, helped de-mystify CVT transmissions by demonstrating his latest project from a Subaru CVT transmission. From turbochargers and alternators to transmissions and hybrid generators, bust open the shell to see how the guts truly function.
Hybrid and EV
Untangle the silent and dark (in my opinion) future of the automotive landscape. Teach your students about high-voltage electrical systems in a safe way. Eliminate the risk and eliminate the knowledge gap.
When the day finally comes that I’m forced to buy an EV, I’m am going to need you to make sure your students know how to keep me on the road. I’ll be far too stubborn to learn about hybrids and EVs myself.
Let's start out the year with some training opportunities and Industry-wide annual events!
NC3 Train-the-Trainer Events
The National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) is continuing their special Covid-19 pricing in 2022! NC3 is hosting several live, virtual Train-the-Trainer events in February including Fundamentals of Robotics and Fundamentals of PLC & Sensors -Allen Bradly Training. You can see their full schedule of live, virtual events for Q1 here.
Annual PETE&C Conference
The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference is returning to Hershey, PA next year in a hybrid format. The majority of sessions will be face to face but four virtual sessions will be running per time slot!
Early bird registration has ended but the room block at the lodge has been extended until January 21st! Register here.
PACTA’s 31ST Annual Symposium 2022 Pathways to Career Readiness: An Education and Workforce Development Symposium
The 31st annual Symposium will begin at 12:30 p.m. on February 10 and will conclude at Noon on February 11. Approximately 300 participants attended the Symposium in previous years and we are expecting a similar attendance this year. The registration deadline is January 24, 2022.
(Event About) Grants
Webconference - Recovery Funds and Purchasing Processes
You know that the grant money is out there but how do you get your hands on it for the benefit of your students?
School boards serve the critical role of providing oversight of district operations and ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal laws.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) allocated significant amounts of emergency funding to support education recovery.
School districts and their boards have invested time and research into making decisions about how to best allocate the use of these funds to serve students and the school community, but what should school boards know about the purchasing processes for these funds?
Join the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to learn more about the board’s role in understanding purchasing requirements, how these funds are different from other federal funds, what boards should know about auditing federal funds, and provisions to be aware of in cooperative purchasing and approving contracts.