Hot wheels?

Noonan develops mechanic skills in automotive program


Sierra Muellner

Taylor Noonan, junior, checks the AC fluid on the car she is working on. Noonan has been working on cars for most of her life and this is her first year in the OATC program. She is involved in the automotive technology program. Even though she is in the program currently, she is not planning on having a career working on cars.

Emma Collins, Reporter

One would think that being the only girl from Olathe South in the Olathe Auto Tech Program (OATC) at Olathe North would be challenging.

Taylor Noonan, junior, finds it exciting.

Noonan wasn’t sure if she wanted to enroll in the program in the first place, but after her dad encouraged her, she finally made up her mind and applied.

Knowing that her teacher treats her equally to the other students, and doesn’t give her slack because she’s a girl, helps Noonan feel more respected.

Noonan is currently enrolled in the automotive technology program, which involves working on car engines and learning how to reassemble them.

One of the challenges Noonan faces is the number of students enrolled in the class. Her class has 30 students but there are about 200 students in the program all together.

“Having such a big class and not having individual time with my teacher is going to be the main challenge,” Noonan said. “At the end of the program it is hard to contact the teachers because of the amount of students in the program.”

She does find the program to be fun, and she likes being able to learn something new every day, along with having hands on experience.

Noonan has recently learned about the air conditioning components of a car and how they work, along with figuring out if there are any problems with certain parts of an AC component, or if the entire thing needs to be replaced.

Tools, protection, and car parts are provided to the students, along with a shop for the class, and an auto tech room for any class time the teachers need in order to teach the students new concepts.

“It really helps having everything provided for us,” Noonan said. “It makes the learning experience much easier when you get to use the tools yourself.”

Noonan already had some experience with some of the tools  in her class because she has worked on cars in the past.

Noonan got involved in fixing cars when she was about two years old by helping her dad fix up his truck. Ever since then, she has wanted to be able to fix up her own truck and make sure everything is running well.  She enjoys working on her truck on a daily basis and being able to know what’s wrong with it and how to fix it.

She is glad that she has this oppuritunity to have a connection to mechanics like her dad.

Overall, the program has helped her advance in her skills  a lot, according to Noonan.

After high school ends, Noonan doesn’t think she will major in anything that involves cars, but she is glad to have the ability to fix her own truck.