Twenty-one freshmen at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School are well on their way to securing at least a third certification beyond their high school diploma and Certificate of Proficiency in their technical program. They were celebrated today for their participation in the newly formed Engineering Academy, a focused program of studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These students have signed a contract to complete criteria over and above the traditional graduation requirements, including four (4) years of Science, a minimum of twelve (12) credits in Engineering/STEM electives, and one (1) full year commitment in one of Assabet’s many Engineering/STEM related extra-curricular clubs or activities (i.e. Robotics, Math Club, SkillsUSA, Punkin’ Chunkin’ etc.).
Students from any of the school’s seventeen different technical offerings may participate in the Academy, while those enrolled in Drafting & Design Technology, Precision Machining & Automated Manufacturing, Metal Fabrication, Computer Programming and Web Development, Biotechnology, or Electrical Wiring will be eligible for the Advanced Engineering Academy Certificate. These six particular technical programs provide a rigorous curriculum related to engineering as well as established college articulation agreements for college credit in engineering majors. Some of the schools involved with our Engineering Academy program are WPI, New Hampshire Technical Institute and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Students in Drafting and Design Technology are eligible for a statewide articulation agreement with all Massachusetts Community Colleges offering Engineering majors.
The Engineering Academy at Assabet Valley directs students in a course sequence that addresses the educational needs of students planning on a post high school educational program in a two or four year college, leading to a career in engineering or engineering technology.
At today’s luncheon, the students were encouraged to make engineering interactive by instructor Bryant LaFlamme, asking students to be more aware of their surroundings, and question why things work – or don’t. “If something breaks at home, with your parent’s permission, try taking it apart to diagnose or fix the problem before just throwing it away. Be curious,” he added. Russ Mangsen, the school’s Technical Director, suggested the students be alert to the fact that a couple of the current seniors in the Engineering Design course may be applying for a patent for their senior capstone project, and to begin thinking along those lines. New Assabet Valley Superintendent-Director Ernie Houle was quick to praise the students for their commitment to both their academic and their career/technical pathway, and reminded them that they actually only have a little over 600 days of high school left to accomplish their goals. After a chuckle from the freshmen audience, Mark Hollick, Assabet’s Principal, continued that line of thinking by challenging these students to become student leaders, to add new ways to become involved in their school, and to take their education to the next level. “You are the pioneers of this Engineering Academy, so we naturally expect great things from each of you. I already know that many of you play sports here, or are on the Math Team, or Robotics team, so just keep that up for the rest of your time with us,” he urged.
The inaugural class of the Engineering Academy includes the following freshman students: Maria Alvarado, Giovanny Baltodano, Joseph LeDuc, Caroline Moreira, Jasper Niemszyk, and Yugo Vaz, all from Marlborough; John Baird, from Clinton; Michael Cronin, Briana Fontes, Jack Nugent, Bethany Ramsbottom, all from Hudson; Kyle Binette, Jake Gorrie, Alannah Laurence, Cory Ramsden and Desiree Diaz, all from Shrewsbury; Victoria Ford, Oscar Slute, and Douglas Walsh, all from Maynard; and Samantha Barakian and Alex Fallovollita, from West Boylston.