Pre-Engineering is a competency-based Career & Technical Education program offered at Milford High School & Applied Technology Center. Students who complete Engineering Design or Robotics are considered CTE Participants by the NH Department of Education; those who complete both courses are considered Concentrators. Students are eligible to earn Industry-Validated Certifications or Credentials by passing third-party exams. 
Students may begin the Pre-Engineering Pathway in either Engineering Design OR Robotics, but must complete both of those courses to proceed to Advanced Engineering Design.
In addition to the three official CTE pathway courses, the department offers two electives (Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Exploration & Externship) that are available to Milford students only.
Instructor, Frank Xydias:
picture of Mr. Xydias

For over 20 years, Frank Xydias has been combining both engineering and STEM education at the K-16 levels to help encourage and inspire students.

He is state certified in engineering, drafting, machining, and administration. He has an in-depth knowledge of manufacturing and manufacturing processes. He is a professional member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Fabricators and Manufacturing Association, and New Hampshire Joint Engineering Society.

Frank is a husband, and father to three boys. His joy is bringing his boys to work so they can “play” with all of the cool things in the lab.

In 2018, Frank was named iRobot STEM -MVP Teacher of the Year.

In 2019, Frank developed a junior apprentice program for high school students.

In 2019, Frank was nominated for a teaching excellence award by Manchester Community College. 

  • Engineering Design: Students in this class develop their design skills as the first step of engineering. These concepts begin with focus on using engineering graphics as the primary means of communication using a variety of CAD software packages. These software packages are the same products used by professionals in various engineering disciplines. A series of projects are used to teach engineering design process with emphasis on problem solving, brainstorming, criteria generation, decision-making, economics, and project management.
    Running Start college credits are available through MCC for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. 9th graders who complete both Robotics & Engineering Design will be eligible to earn Running Start Credits through the Mechatronics program at MCC.
    Prerequisite: Algebra I. Freshmen must take Robotics first.
    Contracts for Honors Level Credit are available and will require students to pursue an independent research project.
  • Robotics: Students will work in two-person teams to design a VEX robot to specifications. The course will cover the entire design process. Students will identify a problem, research possible solutions, design and prototype a working robot, and finally assess both the effectivness and the efficiency of their robot. They will learn techniques of basic construction, fastening, motors & drive systems, power supplies, and sensors. 
    Running Start college credits are available through MCC for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. 9th graders who complete both Engineering Design & Robotics will be eligible to earn Running Start credits through the Mechatronics program at MCC.
    Contracts for Honors Level Credit are available and will require students to pursue an independent research project.
  • Advanced Engineering Design: Students in this class have the opportunity to refine and expand upon the concepts learned in Engineering Design. Advanced topics in clude the integration of reverse engineering, basic machining (CAD/CAM) concepts, and 3D rapid prototyping to name a few. Each project expands knowledge from concepts learned in previous engineering classes.
    Running Start college credits are available for 10th-12th graders. 
    Prerequisites: Engineering Design and Robotics
    Contracts for Honors Level Credit are available and will require students to pursue an independent research project.
Elective Courses (Milford Students Only):
  • Engineering Technology: This one semester course provides a sampling of topics covered in our Pre-Engineering program as well as foundational STEAM topics. There are six areas of focus which include mechanical engineering, civil engineering, manufacturing engineering, electrical engineering, robotics, and architecture. A major strength of the course is its emphasis on hands-on experience, teamwork, and problem solving. To achieve this, students follow the engineering design process in a sequential order starting with basic design and going all the way to model fabrication. 
  • Manufacturing Exploration & Externship: In this class students will explore the manufacturing process as it relates to engineering, both in and out of school each week. In class we will address current managerial philosophies and effects at every phase of the manufacturing process, including quality control/quality assurance, CNC, lean manufacturing, and robotics/automation. We will also help students identify future college and career pathways and help them make sound career decisions based on their class work as well as their real-world experiences. During this semester long course, students will rotate between three manufacturing companies as they learn about and apply manufacturing acumen in a real-world environment, where students will be hired as employees earning $12.00 hourly. The knowledge gained will be synthesized and applied to a manufacturing model, which will give students an opportunity to test their theories on managing a manufacturing facility with limited resources. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on effective workplace skills, including teamwork, integrity, and dependability. At the end of the course, students could be offered full or part time employment at one of the partnering facilities based on performance. 
    Running Start college credit is available through Manchester Community College
    Expectation: Students must have reliable transportation and be on track to graduate. Students should have an excellent discipline and attendance record. 

What students are saying...
"Pre-engineering at Milford High School was more than a introduction and jump start to my engineering career. Some valuable skills I learned from the pre-engineering program weren't covered in college. If someone thinks they might want to pursue a career in engineering, I highly recommend this program." ~Ken Lafleur, Manager, Engineering, Airport Corporation
"My work in the engineering program at MHSATC continues to help me. It has helped me through my college experience and I felt prepared as a college student when completing my degree." ~Katy Kolasinski, '09, Raytheon Engineer
"If I could make a suggestion to anyone in the engineering program; it would be to get involved in engineering and take advantage of all the opportunities available. My college was impressed with all the projects I completed while in high school." ~Ashley Federico, '12, Sweet Briar College Theatrical Stage Lighting Engineer
"I find the experience that I gained at MHSATC to be especially useful when completing projects. In addition, the Computer Integrated Manufacturing experience I gained was very useful as a civil engineering student. Very few peers that I spoke with did not have the fundamental knowledge that was afforded to me by this program." ~Eric Pannese, '12, Queens College
"The engineering program at Milford High School gave me a lot of real world experience. Even from freshman year I was able to work on projects that improved the school and improved the lives of people outside of the school system. The skills I learned in the engineering program have prepared me well for study mechanical engineering at the University of New Hampshire." ~Ben Brockway, '19
"I had fun experiencing new ways to design and create in the engineering program. The knowledge I gained through the program has helped me throughout my career. I am glad I got to experience new and creative projects that pushed me to learn." ~Ben Finocchiaro, '18
"My pre-engineering experience at MHS was a strong foundation that I have been able to refer to throughout college and into my career. I enjoyed the project based courses augmented with participation in Robotics independent learning and SkillsUSA competitions." ~Katy Kolasinski, Systems Engineer at Raytheon
"My experience at the Milford High School engineering program was very beneficial and a big part of my engineering career path. The program built a strong foundation of problem solving skills and analytical thinking, along with computer modeling skills that I was able to build on through college and my professional career. I went on to complete my Bachelors of Science in Aeronautical Engineering at Clarkson University, and currently work as a Program Engineer at BAE Systems." ~Andrew White, '09