Females Learn About Male-Dominated Career Field at Girls Auto Know Camp | News
By Daniel Daniels
During a Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Department camp held June 18-20, rising 9th through 12th grade girls had the opportunity to enhance their automotive knowledge.
The annual Girls Auto Know camp, held at Hutchings Career Center, strives to provide girls with the knowledge to take care of their car, save money by completing their own car repairs, and teach safety skills in and around their car. About 20 girls attended the camp where a few of the skills they learned included how to change a tire, how and when to check automobile fluids, and when it is necessary to call a professional for certain car repairs.
Camp attendees received instruction from Hutchings Automotive Instructor Levon Tarver. Mr. Tarver said the camp aligns with a push to increase nontraditional educational opportunities for students. Having a girls’ automotive camp provides female students with the opportunity to gain knowledge in a career field that is currently male dominated, he said.
“When they can see the other girls can do it, then they know for a fact they can do it, too,” Mr. Tarver said.
The majority of girls in attendance had very little knowledge of cars prior to the camp, and Mr. Tarver said he hoped to teach them skills that would enhance the experiences they have with automobiles.
“My main goal is to have them to where when they step near an automobile, or get their own automobile, they know how to take care of it, they know how to operate things safely, and they know why it is important to maintain it from a safety perspective,” Mr. Tarver said.
Camper Jacy Thomas, a senior at Howard High School, said she currently owns an automobile with a constant oil leak, and because she attended the camp, she is now able to handle the task of changing her oil in her own car.
“Self-dependency, just to be dependent on myself, is better than being dependent on someone else,” Jacy said.
Another camper, Central High School sophomore Nekaybaw Watson, said an automotive camp is something everyone should have the opportunity to attend, but it is especially important for girls because, “I see (girls) mostly on the side of the road, not knowing what to do, and we have to call someone else to help us out. So, if we can get it done quicker and easier, then that’ll be a lot better than having to call someone.”
Nekaybaw said new friendships formed at the camp were another added bonus.
“You meet girls that you don’t know, and then that you might know in the future because they come to your school later on,” she said. “So, I think it’s a good experience.”