Sollers Point Technical High students repair automobiles through “Fish Bowl”


At Sollers Point Technical High School, students have the unique opportunity to study automotive systems through the school’s Auto Services Technology Program.

In addition to learning the hands-on skills of their trade through this program, students learn and practice “soft” skills necessary for success, promotion, and leadership in their chosen fields. Of the many activities intended to teach these “soft” skills is “Fish Bowl,” an exercise centered on instruction in communication and problem-solving skills. In “Fish Bowl,” one group works to solve a problem or task through discussion, while a second group of peers observes the problem-solving group and notes use of targeted communication skills that aid effective and efficient problem-solving.

When presented with a task to find the source of a mechanical problem with a customer’s vehicle, students approached the situation using “Fish Bowl.” As one group of students investigated the issue, another group observed and noted points of strength and weakness in the first group’s communication. At the end of the exercise, the observing group provided the problem-solving group feedback on how to better use each peer’s knowledge and expertise to solve similar mechanical issues more efficiently in the future. Through this exchange, students in both groups gained valuable insights that will lead them to further success in their continued study of automobile service.

Sollers Point Technical High’s Auto Service Technology Program is a three-level program that begins in Grade 10 and, after intensive study, leads students toward a mentored internship during the summer of their junior year and a work study during their senior year.

Story and photo submitted by Catherine Bowes, Sollers Point Technical High School, Assistant Principal, and Greta Gray, Sollers Point Technical High School, Business Education Teacher
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