Pre-Engineering is a competency-based Career & Technical Education program offered at Milford High School & Applied Technology Center. Students who complete Engineering Design are considered CTE Participants by the NH Department of Education; those who complete Advanced Engineering Design are considered Concentrators. Students are eligible to earn Industry-Validated Certifications or Credentials by passing third-party exams. 
In addition to the two CTE pathway courses, the department offers several electives.
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 first pathway class develop their design skills as the central core of engineering. These concepts begin with focus on using engineering graphics as the primary means of communication using a variety of CADD software titles. These software packages are the same products used by professionals in mechanical engineering, architecture, civil engineering, and computer graphics. A series of projects are used to teach design process with emphasis on problem solving, brainstorming, criteria generation, decision making, economics, and project management.

  • Advanced Engineering Design: In the second pathway course, students have the opportunity to refine and expand upon the concepts learned in Engineering Design. Advanced topics include 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 credit is available through Manchester Community College upon completion of the two-course sequence
    Prerequisite: Completion of Engineering Design with a grade of C or better
  • Mechatronics Pathway (Full Year): The term "Mechatronics" is used to describe flexible manufacturing systems that use innovative technologies to improve the design and manufacture of products and processes. This elective class focuses on 3D modeling, part fabrication, utilizing 3D printers and laser cutting, as well as robotics and automation processes. This is a project-based class with open-ended design problems that help students utilize acquired skills. Students will start out fundamentally with design skills and for the second semester focus on the integration of robot applications. 
  • Robotics: In this elective, non-pathway course, students will work in two-person teams to design a 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 effectiveness and the efficiency of their bot. Students will build their robots on the VEX platform. They will learn techniques of basic construction, fastening, motors & drive systems, power supplies, and sensors.
    Running Start college credit is available through Manchester Community College
    Prerequisite: Completion of Engineering Design or Programming Fundamentals with a grade of C or better 
  • Manufacturing Exploration & Externship: This class is both in and out of school each week; students will rotate between two manufacturing companies as they learn about and apply manufacturing acumen in a real-world environment. Students will be hired as employees earning $12.00 hourly. Students will explore the manufacturing process as it relates to engineering. The work each week will help students identify career pathway requirements and schooling requirements, and help students make sound career decisions. These decisions will be based on work in class as well as their real-world experiences. In class we will address current managerial philosophies and effects at every phase of manufacturing. This information 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 can 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