New FMPS-Funded Engineering Class is a Success!

“There was such an interest and a need for an engineering class at MHS, and thanks to FMPS, we’re able to offer a course that’s opening students’ eyes and minds to the world of engineering,” explains MHS STEAM teacher Michael Agosti, who has teamed with physics teacher Ryan Forcier to offer Engineering 1, a new lab-based, semester-long science/technology elective that will give students an introduction to electronics, electrical engineering, materials science, and mechanical/structural design.

“Since Ryan and I are both degreed engineers, we wanted this class to be hands-on and collaborative,” says Agosti. “We’re grateful FMPS gave us the funds to purchase the equipment to explore electrical engineering, a structure and material tester to explore material design, and a heat treat oven to explore materials science.

Students love the teamwork aspect of the class and diving into the lab projects. “I have always been drawn to science classes, but this offers hands-on learning that you don’t find in a lot of other science electives,” explains senior Nell Nyffenegger.

“We have freshmen through seniors in the class, which is great,” says Agosti. “The freshmen appreciate getting the exposure so early, and the seniors, especially the ones who plan to major in engineering, say they feel more confident now.”

“I want to major in engineering, so I thought it was awesome that this class was offered in my senior year,” says Tucker Braun. “I feel like I’ll be more prepared when I go to college.”

“I was disappointed when I first came to this school and saw there wasn’t an engineering class,” says senior Kimberly McLean, who had taken engineering at her former school in Boston. “I signed up right away when I found out about this class. I like being faced with a challenge and finding a creative solution.”

“The students love the competitions,” agrees Agosti. They’re divided into teams and whether they’re building towers or bridges, every time you make it a competition, it raises everyone’s game, and they like the challenge. Their grades aren’t based on if they win, though–it’s how well they complete each step. The prize for the winners is usually a no-homework pass.”

“I don’t necessarily want to study engineering, but I absolutely love the group work in this class. We bounce ideas off each other, and no idea is too crazy. I was really surprised to see how creative engineering could be,” says senior Alicia Stramsky.