California Automotive Teachers Conference had Something for Everyone

Automotive training

Blog Editor’s Note: James Halderman, Automotive Author, had the opportunity to attend the California Automotive Training conferenceand provides a brief description of his time at the event. His latest book, Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service, is available in hardcover and useful for courses in automotive principles, service, and mechanics.

 

The semiannual California Automotive Teachers (CAT) conference was held April 24-25, 2015, at Skyline College in San Bruno, California, which is near the San Francisco airport. This two-day event started on Friday morning with tours of local hot rod shops as well as training sessions held at the college.

The Friday events included:

  • Pico Scopes, Down and Dirty Basics-Hands-On Workshop
  • Hiller Aviation Museum
  • Diagnosing with Pressure Transducers and the Pico Scope.
  • Roy Brizio Street Rods, Inc., Tour
  • Introduction to the Nissan Leaf
  • Diagnosing with Pressure Transducers and the Pico Scope.
  • Teaching CAN Bus

Training classes even extended into the evening after dinner with several training sessions being offered from 7:00 to 9:30 PM.

The conference continued Saturday with a trade show followed by two training sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon.Welcome sign

The Saturday sessions included:

  • 2015 All Electric Golf
  • Electric Vehicle Operation and Driving Strategies
  • Today Featuring the Nissan Leaf
  • Lubrication Fundamentals
  • Automotive Service Consultant
  • Toyota New Technology Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle
  • Diagnosing Vehicle Electronics
  • K & N Engineering
  • Gas Direct Injection
  • Tips and Highlights for Successful Repairs in the Transmission Industry
  • Matching the Learning Materials to the Learners
  • Teaching Lab-Scope Diagnostics
  • Steering Angle Sensors & Advanced Alignment Angles

My session, on Saturday 10:30 to 11:45 AM, titled Engine Oil Update was very well attended with standing room only. I heard many compliments about this presentation because I included the many changes coming in late 2016, early 2017 regarding oil specifications driven by emissions and fuel economy mandates. One instructor, Mike Morse, said “Really liked your presentation on motor oil. Information was right on the cutting edge.”  I posted this presentation on my website so that instructors can use it in their classes. To download this and other conference Halderman Power Points visit my website, then click on “Jim’s stuff” at the top and then select “Conference Power Points”.

  • Thomas Hayward, the Automotive Marketing Manager for Pearson Education, gave a presentation Saturday afternoon on ASE and MyAutomotiveLab. This session highlighted MAL and generated a lot of interest. Thomas also heard some very good ideas and suggestions for future updates to make it even more helpful to instructors, especially when it comes to grading and recording lab activities in the learning management system (LMS).

Attending the CAT conference is a “have to attend” event for me twice a year when CAT offers the fall conference in southern CA and the spring conference in northern CA. I have been attending these conferences now for over ten years and I believe that as a result, my textbooks are much improved due to the suggestions and feedback I receive from automotive instructors. Automotive instructors are not shy when it comes to letting you know what they want and I try to include these ideas and features into all titles and editions. Visit the CAT website for information on future conferences.

 

Bottom line:

Great CAT conference, excellent food and fantastic training sessions at a beautiful campus right next to the Pacific Ocean. It does not get much better than that!