Engineering Technology Academy

Mission Statement

In 2014, West Catholic Preparatory High School, in collaboration with Drexel University, launched an Engineering Technology Academy at West Catholic Prep. The mission of the Academy is to provide a select group of students with the opportunity to acquire basic engineering skills through a project based curriculum, during which they will gain confidence in their ability to learn and apply the principles of art, mathematics, computer programming and physics.

Academic Program

A four year program, The Engineering Technology Academy, is built into the core curriculum and is designed to give students a real-world, inter-disciplinary approach to learning by doing. In each year of the program, students will be assigned projects that will require them to learn and apply computer-assisted design (CAD) skills that incorporate principles of art, mathematics and physics. They will manufacture their designs using on-site equipment, and then articulate the principles that enabled their designs to work. This approach is based on the belief that students will learn best by continuously applying the “plan – do – check – act cycle” to increasingly complex projects, so that by graduation they will be prepared to take responsibility for their own learning processes and achieve success in their goals for higher education and contributing to society. Drexel University is offering to give students, who successfully complete this program, credit for two (three credit) electives if they choose to enter their Engineering Technology program.


Interested students should discuss with their parents/guardians whether the program matches their capabilities and ambitions. If they determine that the Engineering Technology Academy matches their interests and ambitions, the next step is to refer to the admissions section of our website to complete the general school admissions requirements, and then submit the Academy Application for review.

Engineering Technology Academy – Industry Committee:

  • Cookie Mahon, Owner, American Kitchen Machinery
  • Garry L. Fudala, Vice President, PTR Baler & Compactor Co.
  • Kenneth R. Krauss, President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Axle Inc.
  • Evan Malone, Ph.D., President, NextFab Studio
  • Rick Skidmore, President & CEO, Timberlane, Inc.
  • Edward Lydon, Ekl Machine Company
  • Nicholas V Coppa, Ph.D., Managing Member, Nanomaterials Company
  • David Munz, Owner, Munz Machine LLC
  • Carl D. Rapp , President, Philadelphia Gear, a Timken brand & VP Timken Power Systems
  • V. Steve Herzog, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Philadelphia Energy Solutions
  • Joseph J. Houldin, CEO and Founder, DVIRC

This group meets monthly with a mission of providing industry knowledge and resources to the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not sure if I want to be in the West Catholic Prep Engineering Technology Academy. How should I decide?

First, use this website as a resource to see if the program matches your interests, capabilities and ambitions. Second, attend an open house, or schedule a visit day, at the school to learn more about the program, ask questions, etc.

How do I enroll in the Engineering Technology Academy?

Approximately 24 students will be accepted into the program each year. To apply into the Academy, click here for an application.

Is there a separate tuition for the Engineering Technology Academy?

Students who participate in the academy will pay a fee ($125) to cover the cost of the materials that they use each year.

What if I am not sure if I want to be an engineer or work in manufacturing?

The Engineering Technology Academy was created to develop practical thinkers and problem solvers. It is a program for students who enjoy challenges and want to learn in art, mathematics, physics and computer programming in a project-oriented, multidisciplinary way.

Can I take some of the Academy classes or do I have to take all of them?

The Engineering Technology Academy is a four year program in which students rely on the knowledge gained each year to successfully complete projects in subsequent years. Consequently, students who enroll in the academy must do so with the intent of participating throughout all four years.

Admissions Related Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prerequisites for applying to the Engineering Technology Academy? How can I prepare?

Students must be admitted to West Catholic Prep and perform well on the West Catholic Prep entrance test. No extracurricular activities or courses are necessary for admission to the Engineering Technology Academy.

What is the application process?

The application can be found here. The basic process is to gather information about the program to determine if it will interest you by reviewing this website; submit a completed application to the school and the separate application to the Engineering Technology Academy. It’s important to note that all students must complete the school’s general admissions requirements in order to be accepted into the Academy.

Will I get an interview? When will I know?

The admissions office will contact every student who performs well on the West Catholic Prep placement test to schedule an interview. Students who do not perform well on the placement test will be advised that they are not being selected for an interview.

When will I know if I have been accepted into the Engineering Technology Academy?

Notification times will vary. Students apply to West Catholic Prep from many feeder Catholic, charter and public schools in Philadelphia and the school must work with each to ensure the student’s application is complete (including transcripts). Our goal is to notify students in the summer and no later than August 1st of each year.

Course of Study

Graduation Requirements: All students must take four years of Engineering Technology in order to complete the Academy. The courses consist of Engineering Physics I, Chemistry I, Chemistry II and Engineering Physics II. Note: A $150.00 fee will be assessed to students enrolled in these classes.

Grade 9

401 – Engineering Physics I (H)

1 credit


This course is designed to provide an understanding and introduction to the basic laws of physics and concepts of engineering through classroom and project based learning. Topics covered include: motion, mechanics, momentum, work, power, heat, and the structure of matter. Topics are treated as preparatory track for engineering in college. Projects are assigned and expected to be carried out in the prescribed amount of time.

Grade 10

402 – Engineering Physics II (H)

1 credit


This course is designed to continue the education track of Engineering Physics I (H). This class will focus on the study of heat and thermodynamics, waves, sound, light and the electro-magnetic spectrum. Students will learn how to assemble circuits and basic computer programming. Labs and projects will center around students being able design and build something from raw materials, completing the project before the end of the year.

Grade 11

403 – Engineering Physics III (H)

1 credit


This is a course designed to enable students to acquire a background in the subject for future college courses, to obtain jobs in science and science related fields, and to be informed, scientifically literate citizens. Topics include scientific method, properties of matter, formulas and equations, atomic structure, the period table, solutions, equilibrium, acids, bases, salts, and oxidation – reduction. Lab activities will focus on chemical engineering preparing students to enter engineering in college.

Grade 12

404 – Engineering Physics IV (H)

1 credit


Engineering Physics IV(H) will continue the education track of Engineering Physics 1, 2, and 3. The students will focus on Magnetism, Induced Voltages Inductance, Self-Inductance, Light-reflection and refraction of Light. Labs and projects will reinforce the previous three years of study.