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RAHS Auto Shop Provides Career Experience and Affordable Services


RAHS auto shop, running now for three years, provides services on cars of Roseville’s students and community members, for reduced prices– by having trained students work on them. 

Teacher Kenneth Sopcinski teaches students about cars in many different classes at RAHS, some open to only upperclassmen but others open to all grades. He said, “[the RAHS auto mechanics course] is a student-run program, open to juniors and seniors, no experience required, but sophomores need to take small engines to take the auto mechanic class. We need a level of maturity in the classroom, and that’s the entire reason I have the auto mechanic  classes open to juniors and seniors, but Roseville [Area High School] has one of the best auto shops in the country, which is great for the students.” 

To learn about cars, RAHS students can take Know Your Car, Small Engines, and Auto Mechanic, which can go up to Auto Mechanics Five.

There is a process for training students before they start working on customer’s cars. Sopcinski said, “My auto mechanics one class is primarily training for the trimester, and [student mechanics] aren’t going to go into the shop until the last few week of the trimester.”  After students train, they can jump back into working on cars after a review of safety procedures.

The RAHS Auto Shop offers light to medium maintenance and repairs on automobiles. These services, as Sopcinski said include: oil changes, brakes and suspensions, coolant changes, and tire services, or any light that pops on the dashboard. 

Although these services are relatively cheap, Sopcinski acknowledged a potential downside is the time it takes to repair the car. He said, “Our motto is we are cheap but we are slow. It is expensive to fix a car regardless, but for example our front brake job, a pretty standard service, comes out to be $240-280, but you bring it to a professional, it’s going to come out to $480, but we will need the car for two days. Like I said, we are cheap but slow but it is ⅓ cheaper as a whole.”

Business for the auto shop ranges, as Sopcinski sees how many cars his students can handle. He said, “I try and get just enough, I mean if Channel 4 news wanted to do a story here, that would be great but I know my phone would be ringing off the hook, and we can’t service that many cars, so I keep it to community members, and people in the ISD 623 area.”

The benefits of taking these classes range from being educated in car knowledge to finding a career in this area. Sopcinski said, “It depends on what their goals are. I have had students who take this and realize they really didn’t know what they wanted to do in life, and they did this and they loved it and wanted to do it.”

Sopcinski finds it hard promoting his classes to female-identifying students. He said, “We really like to get more girls in our classes, but we are trying to do what they do in woodshop classes and try to run a girls only class, if girls sign up. If you look at my roster, it will be all boys and maybe one or two girls, and I don’t blame them.”

RAHS auto shop has a Facebook, called Raider Auto Shop, where they post updates and pictures, check them out here: Raider Auto Shop | Roseville MN | Facebook 

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About the Contributor
Naima Sheikh-Mohamed
Naima Sheikh-Mohamed, Editor-in-Chief
I’m a co editor in chief and this is my third year on The Ville. I’m a senior, and some things I like to do are cook, take walks, and watch TV. A fun fact about me is that my birthday is on Halloween.

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