June 14, 2023
2 min read

Q&A: Starting a Robotics and Automation Program at Attleboro High School

Robotics and Automation Classroom at Attleboro High School

The new Attleboro High School opened to students in 2022. One exciting part of the school was launching new Chapter 74-approved CTE programs. One of those programs is Robotics and Automation, which teacher Cory Rugg built from the ground up. We connected with Cory at the end of his first year of teaching this program at Attleboro to learn about how the program started, how it went, and what's next!

AET Labs: How did Attleboro decide they needed a robotics and automation program?

Cory Rugg: The school surveyed local businesses and found that surrounding businesses had over 1,000 job openings.

AET Labs: How did you develop the curriculum for it? What did you reference, or who did you talk to for help?

Cory: I've worked in the industry and wanted to develop the curriculum based on the fundamental skills that I saw necessary to be successful for a position in automation and robotics. I also used the Chapter 74 frameworks and curriculum from Festo LX.

Festo LX courses

AET Labs: What have your students enjoyed the most?

Cory: They've enjoyed using TETRIX robotics, coding, the Festo MecLab, mobile robot kits, and DOBOTS for exploratory.

Festo MecLab System
Festo MecLab

AET Labs: What, if any, changes will you be making to the program next year and why?

Cory: Because the program is so new and is only in its second year, there won't be many changes. The main plan is to integrate more of our existing equipment, including most of the Festo Industry 4.0 Certification Level I NC3 certifications and the Kuka industrial robot.

AET Labs: What advice do you have for other teachers who are thinking of starting a robotics program at their school?

Cory: Just do it! Ask for help if you don't know too much; there are so many resources out there. Talk to people in the industry, create an advisory board, and reach out to trusted education consultants to help develop the program. There are other programs out there, including engineering and electronics, that could easily morph into a robotics and automation program. This is a hot industry that isn't going away. It's also very rewarding.

Congratulations to Cory for a successful year! We look forward to continuing to see how the program progresses. 

If you're exploring bringing a robotics and automation program to your high school, please reach out to AET Labs. We worked with Cory and many other instructors in launching new programs, and we're available to help you develop your program, lab design, equipment selection, and professional development.