Auto Club gives students hands-on opportunities

Grace Dollia, Features Editor

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After two years of not being able to participate, Rolling Meadows High School’s Auto Club will be participating in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow engine challenge. Although the actual competition does not take place until the end of February, the club will begin practicing in December and is currently working and familiarizing themselves with the equipment.

Auto Club was first started five years ago under the lead of club sponsor Joel Dufkis. Dufkis created the club because he wanted to formulate an organized but laid-back environment where students could work on cars.

“Auto Club is a time for students to work on jobs that we might not have time to complete during the school day,” Dufkis said. “It’s also a time if you want to learn new things or even just hang out with people who like cars.”

A student does not have to be enrolled in one of the four automotive courses offered at Rolling Meadows to join Auto Club; however, many students in the classes find the club to be very beneficial.

“If you want to take Autos and can’t fit it in your schedule, or you just have an interest in cars I would say [Auto Club] is a great place to stop by,” senior Joshua Plantan said. “I feel it [is] a place where people who enjoy cars can go and talk and know what everyone is talking about, to work on your car, get help from others and maybe learn a thing or two.”

The resources and tools offered in the Auto Club workshop would ordinarily be difficult for students to obtain on their own. For instance, there are multiple lifts available to students that they can use to raise cars up in the air. This makes working on them significantly easier. Students are able to perform many tasks on cars in the club such as changing oil, changing tires, rotating tires, fixing brakes and many more.

Dufkis is an Automotive Service Excellence certified master technician along with holding many other certifications. While this provides even more resources and knowledge for students who want to build upon their automotive skills, Dufkis still credits most of the club’s success to its student members.

“Auto Club is totally student run,” Dufkis said. “I might have a few small things, but really the students drive the direction. If students want to learn more about something, all they have to do is ask and we can make it happen.”

Students who are interested in furthering their automotive education with some hands-on practical work still have the chance to join Auto Club.

“Auto Club will be meeting on Fridays after school until 6 p.m.,” Dufkis said. “Auto Club has not started yet due to me coaching cross country, but as soon as the season is over we will begin meeting weekly.”

You can join the Schoology group with the code HTXV2-PKTC5 to keep up to date on when we are meeting.”