Kirk VanGelder

Kirk T. VanGelder is a Certified Automotive Technology Instructor at Cascadia Technical Academy, in Vancouver, Washington. With over 30 years of teaching experience at the high school and college level, Kirk encourages students to think critically, learn how to ask questions of themselves, and then search out the answers. He is passionate about helping students understand the science behind automotive technology so that they can continuously embrace emerging systems and technologies in the quickly changing automotive industry.

Recent Posts

What’s the Best Way to Teach Your Students About Electricity?

Posted by Kirk VanGelder on Feb 11, 2019 2:18:00 PM

Most people know that manufacturers are continuously incorporating more technology and electronics in new vehicles. As a result, there is a need for higher level electrical and electronics training. 

Read More

Topics: Student Engagement, Curriculum

Automotive Technology: A Physics Lab on Wheels

Posted by Kirk VanGelder on Jan 14, 2019 4:53:00 PM

In this day and age, students with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) knowledge and experience are sought after by a growing number of employers, but these subjects often are seen as  fit for only top academic students. Meanwhile, automotive technology classes are ignored or seen as less important.

Maybe it’s time to challenge that view. 

Read More

Topics: Fundamentals of Automotive Technology ONLINE, Curriculum

CDX News Featured Article: Time for an Engine Oil Perception Change

Posted by Kirk VanGelder on Nov 15, 2016 10:58:00 AM


Many technicians don’t think much about engine oil, except that it needs to be changed regularly. Much like engine oil itself, however, the lack of attention given to oil and new lubrication standards also needs to be changed.

Technology has affected the realm of engine oil just as much as it has virtually all other aspects of a vehicle. Engine oil is now engineered to meet specific manufacturer requirements, or even individual engine requirements within a particular manufacturer’s lineup. Long gone are the days when we can use generic 10W-30 engine oil out of a drum for every vehicle that rolls through the shop.

Let’s look at just two of the less familiar standards.

Read More

Featured Article: Looking for a quick way to test parasitic draw?

Posted by Kirk VanGelder on Nov 15, 2016 8:20:00 AM


Read More