Learning about life

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Susan Stevenson teaches students how to tackle “after-school” tasks in her Life Skills class, and car-buying is now part of the curriculum.

About 25 sophomores, juniors and seniors rode in a new hybrid car on Tuesday, an experience the Austin High School teacher believes may be their future when shopping for vehicles.

“I gave them some options for things they would like to learn,” Stevenson said. “They are going to know more about this in their future than I’ll ever know.

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“This course is designed to help kids when they are out on their own for the first time,” she said. Other Life Skills lessons have included reading a rental lease, responsibilities after age 18 and how to manage a checking account.

The Family and Consumer Sciences teacher arranged Tuesday for Mike Schuster of Motor Inn Co. in Albert Lea to bring a 2010 Honda Insight to the high school and show her class how hybrids work.

“It’s so interesting to watch the dash because it shows when it switches from electric to gas,” Stevenson said. “It’s much more attractive to me as a consumer than it used to be.”

The students were given rides in a four-door Insight EX, which boasts a potential 50-63 miles per gallon.

“It’s pretty good…” junior Travis Myers said after his ride around the block. He said it’s interesting how the car turns off instead of idling, and how the dash shows how many miles per gallon the car is getting.

Senior Tyler Lee said the appeal of the hybrid is “just to save the gas.”

“That’s the point,” Stevenson said. “It’s all about the ‘green’ stuff.”