November 30, 2022
4 min read

CTE Professional Development Options for New England Teachers

AET Labs delivering Universal Robots professional development at Old Colony Technical High School

With all the responsibilities of teaching, it is imperative for teachers to find professional development opportunities worth their time. CTE teachers come from an industry background, so professional development in classroom dynamics and instructional strategies is essential. In addition, since CTE teachers are focused on preparing students for the workforce, they need to stay up to date on best practices related to the program they are teaching.

CTE teachers in the engineering and technology pathway need to be able to teach advances in the industry involving technologies related to additive manufacturing, automation, mechatronics, robotics, and Industry 4.0. More specifically, they need to understand:

  • How technologies are used in the industry
  • How to operate and maintain equipment
  • How to incorporate technology into their curriculum

Professional development for CTE teachers comes in many topics and formats, including online learning, in-person workshops, conferences, and certifications. 

Here's a list of CTE professional development options we recommend for engineering, robotics, and manufacturing teachers in New England!

Online Learning

Universal Robots Academy

For Teachers Of: Pre-Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Machine Technology

Format: Online

Cost: Free

Get familiar with Universal Robots collaborative robots with the Universal Robots Academy. They offer three e-series with learning modules that are less than 30 minutes each, so you can learn on your own time:

  • Core Track: essential concepts, terminology, and programming commands needed to operate a UR robot
  • Pro Track: more complex topics, built upon the core track
  • Application Track: skills specific to applications such as screwdriving, packaging, and machine tending

AET Labs Virtual Demos and Discussions

For Teachers Of: Pre-Engineering, Robotics & Automation, CAD

Format: Online

Cost: Free

Learn practical tips for using Fusion 360 and get ideas for incorporating equipment into your classroom in our virtual demos and discussions. Past topics include:

  • 3D Printing and Mechanical Tolerance
  • 3D Scan to Print
  • Preparing Files for Waterjet Cutting
  • Structural Design for Laser Cutting

zSpace Training

For: CTE Directors

Format: Online

Cost: $1,000

Learn how to coach colleagues in the use of VR/AR, like zSpace, in the classroom and build expertise and best practices for zSpace in schools and districts in the zSpace training of trainers.

In-Person Professional Development Workshops

Creaform Academia training at IYRS in Rhode Island
AET Labs providing Creaform ACADEMIA training to instructors at the IYRS in Rhode Island.

AET Labs Workshops

For Teachers Of: Pre-Engineering, CAD, Robotics & Automation, Machine Technology

Format: In-Person in New England

Cost: Free and Custom Pricing for Customized PD

Get hands-on experience with equipment, including Tormach CNC machines, Universal Robots collaborative robots, Creaform 3D scanners, and Stratasys 3D printers in professional development workshops with AET Labs. We offer free in-person workshops for New England instructors and partner with schools and districts to develop customized professional development for instructors who want help incorporating equipment into their curriculums.


MAVA Conference

For Teachers Of: Pre-Engineering, CAD, Robotics & Automation

Format: In-Person in Massachusetts

Cost: TBD

The Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) hosts a conference each year loaded with workshops and presentations by fellow New England instructors and industry partners. 

ACTE CareerTechVision Conference

For Teachers Of: All CTE Pathways

Format: In-Person in Las Vegas

Cost: $525-$695 

The ACTE CareerTech Vision conference is a premiere event that connects CTE teachers across programs and the country in an immersive few days of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, networking, and an expo. 


Universal Robots Certification

For Teachers Of: Pre-Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Machine Technology

Format: In-Person (usually outside of New England)

Cost: Included in the UR Skills Certification Package

Universal Robots offers a 4-day Teacher Certification Training Program as part of the UR Skills Certification Training Package. Become a Certified Universal Robots Instructor with the ability to train and certify students for completing the Universal Robots Educational Robotics Training core coursework. 

Festo Industry 4.0 Certification

For Teachers Of: Pre-Engineering, Robotics & Automation

Format: Virtual and In-Person (usually outside of New England)

Cost: $395-$595

Instructors receive training through NC3, the National Coalition of Certification Centers, to teach students in the Festo Industry 4.0 Certification Program. These NC3 train-the-trainer certification programs cover topics including:

  • Intro to Mechatronics
  • Fundamentals of PLCs and Sensors
  • Applied PLC
  • Fundamentals of Electricity 

Stratasys Additive Manufacturing Certification

For Teachers Of: Pre-Engineering, CAD

Format: Online

Cost: Free

When your institution becomes certified by Stratasys, you can offer a professional proficiency credential in additive manufacturing to your students. The certification covers:

  • Additive manufacturing technologies, industries, and applications for FDM and PolyJet materials
  • Key technology specifications
  • Design considerations from CAD to CAM
  • Fabrication considerations
  • Post-processing methods. 

Tormach CNC Certification

For Teachers Of: Machine Technology

Format: In-Person (usually outside of New England)

Cost: $695

Get hands-on learning of advanced manufacturing skills with a full-featured CNC controller for Tormach CNC machines in train-the-trainer programs through NC3.

GreenLee Electrical Certifications

For Teachers Of: Electrical Technology

Format: In-Person (usually outside of New England)

Cost: $895

Receive an NC3 train-the-trainer certification to bridge the electrical industry's skills gap through thoughtfully-designed learning modules that cover critical core competencies in electrically-related professions including:

  • Hand Bending
  • Conduit Bending
  • Wire Pathways
  • Electrical Wire Transformation

Professional development for CTE teachers in engineering and manufacturing is critical due to the technical skills needed to operate and teach the equipment and the fast-paced changes in the industry that impact how you prepare your students for careers. 

Contact us today if you want information about any of the certification programs or a customized CTE professional development workshop for your school or district in New England!