STEM subjects get a huge boost at Whittier Tech 

 Want to learn how to operate a robotic arm?

Use a computer to design and manufacture machine parts?

Help solve city population problems?

It’s all happening in Whittier Tech’s new engineering lab and “maker space”. It is where students are engaging in higher levels of the STEM subjects with a brand new lab, new technology and equipment after the high school was awarded $139,342 in two grants.

The school’s engineering program, opened this year with 20 freshmen, will be enhanced with computer and life sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum designed by Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a nationally recognized program that encourages students to develop in-demand, transportable skills – such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication. Professional development for teachers was also included in the $109,342 in state grant money, and a second $30,000 grant was received from PLTW for training.

“This is huge,” said Engineering Teacher Jaylene Dos Santos. “It gives our students so many opportunities for real-world, hands-on applications. They are definitely going to gain the next level of employability skills. Instead of just designing a part using software on the computer, we now get to print it in 3D and hold it and analyze its effectiveness.”

New equipment, including two 3D Printers, a bench mill, and robotic arm will inspire students to solve challenges in the biotechnology field using the STEM subjects. Students will develop solutions and prototypes, creating medical devices that may be used in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and research facilities. 

Students in other Whittier programs, such as machine technology and electronics/robotics, will also benefit from use of the equipment and “maker space” where collaborative planning and design to solve problems using biotechnology takes place.

“We’re very excited to be able to infuse our new engineering program with such a state-of-the-art lab, equipment and teacher training,” said Maureen Lynch, Whittier’s superintendent. “By collaborating and actively going through the processes of solving real-world issues, our students will gain skills they can apply to so many different types of careers. We are thrilled.”

The competitive state grant is part of $39 million in capital funding announced by Gov. Charles Baker and the Massachusetts Life Science Center for research centers and life sciences training facilities, colleges, universities, middle schools and high schools.

 “The projects that we are announcing today demonstrate our commitment to investing in the innovation economy, supporting game-changing technological research, and creating jobs in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker.

MLSC makes major capital investments to support education and training at academic institutions across the state.

Here is the breakdown of the grant- Total: 109,342

Life Science Equipment Budget - $99,755.00

$14,489 - Uprint SE Gab CAD Compatible 3D Printer – To allow students to analyze their design mass properties, dynamic function, and perform finite element analysis.

$45,956 - Object30 Pro 3D printer  -  provides multi-layer flexibility while introducing numerous applications including over-molding, grayscale coloring, and simultaneous prints in different silicone molding. –

$16,286– Intelitek Benchmill 6000 with tooling software and online curriculum – allows programming, setup, and operate of a CNC mill without leaving the classroom. 

$23,026 – Scorbot ER4U Robotic Arm Bundle – exposes students to automated work cell applications such as robotic welding, machine vision, and CNC machine tending

Life Science Professional Development Budget – Total: $9,587

Project Lead The Way Training in the following courses: 

Introduction to Engineering Design 

Computer Integrated Manufacturing 

Aerospace Engineering