Keep on truckin'

ASU is participating in a new augmented reality video game through a partnership with the American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council. The game titled TMCSuperTech: The Game, is designed to attract and foster a new generation of students toward interest in becoming skilled maintenance technicians for the trucking industry.

Based on TMC’s National Technician Skills Competition, the app – TMCSuperTech: The Game – is geared to middle- and high-school students and is available as a free download for smart devices on the Apple iOS and Android platforms. The goal of the game is to increase the visibility of maintenance technician career options – and by extension – showcase the industry’s appeal to tactile learners at a young age.

The Arkansas Department of Commerce Office of Skills Development is a premier sponsor of the gamification effort, and as such the game was given an advance 30-day release in Arkansas throughout February ahead of a planned nationwide release this week.

The game development began in 2019 and grew with discussions of the need to fill repair technician positions. The conversations included trucking industry leaders, dealers, training and education institutions and representatives of Arkansas Office of Skills Development. ASU-Beebe’s Diesel Technician program was presented as a model by then president of the Diesel Tech Industry Advisory Committee Kenneth Calhoun.

“Beebe was one of two programs in the state using new trucking simulators and other technology advancements to train students to analyze and repair medium and heavy diesel trucks, so it made sense to involve them in a training game.”

ASU-Beebe Diesel Technician program instructor Jake Selvidge is the character and voice for the “Help” module in the game that provides players guidance with game tools to move players through repairs and level advancements.

“I was shocked, but honored to be asked to play a similar role in the game. Help is what teachers do, and this innovative approach keeps students engaged,” Selvidge noted.

In the app, players learn to diagnose and repair tractor-trailers through a series of three mini-games focused on tire/wheel, brake and engine repair. Gamers can progress through 15 levels of game play starting as a student technician and ultimately becoming the owner of their own repair shop. Gamers are rewarded by being “paid” within the app, with which they can purchase special paint jobs for their fleet of trucks and other performance improvements. Links within the game direct students to TMC and its outreach partner the TechForce Foundation where they can learn about career and scholarship opportunities for becoming a commercial vehicle technician.

Game development was premier level sponsored by T/A Petro and the Arkansas Office of Skills Development. Other sponsors include: Cummins, Dana, Worldwide Equipment, Volvo Trucks Academy and Peterson Manufacturing. The game was developed in partnership with Design Interactive, based in Orlando, Fla.

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