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Alpena High School unveils new Mechatronics Lab

(Photo Courtesy/Mike Beiermeister) A student shows off a new piece of equipment and the grand opening of Alpena High School's $400,000 Mechatronics Lab.

Alpena — The Career and Technical Education program at Alpena High School showed off upgrades and new equipment for many of the specialty programs they offer including a brand new $400,000 Mechatronics Lab.

The lab will help guide students interested in engineering, electronics, and robotics on a career path in those fields. With the new lab, the hope is to help AHS students get a leg up before entering college. The funding for the new lab comes from a Michigan Department of Education competitive grant that Alpena High School applied for and received.

Career & Technical Education Director Joyce McCoy said every penny was used on the brand new lab which features different electronic and engineering equipment along with over 20 new computers. Local contractors helped assemble the lab and assist with the design and layout. With the ribbon cut, students of all ages can explore the new possibilities available at Alpena High.

“Once all of the equipment started coming in, we would see students peeking in the windows from all over the building,” said McCoy. “We’re going to do some special things to bring kids from all the other classes down here to see what we have because they probably can’t imagine what’s here.”

Members of the Alpena Public Schools board and Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon on the new lab. The community could walk through other Career and Technical Education Classrooms to check out new equipment and upgrades. Those other programs included automotive technology, health care, welding, cosmetology, arts and communications, business and technology, and agriscience and natural resources.