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MU’s Robotic WorX Internship Program Wins STEM Award

“By winning this award we make the program visible to more people, giving us an opportunity to engage with more youth and make an even bigger impact.”

A workforce development program at Millersville University, in partnership with Precision Cobotics, is the recipient of a Business Education Partnership award. The award, presented on May 20, is from the Lancaster County STEM Alliance  

The LCSA award was presented to MU and Precision Cobotics for the successful launch of a new program called Robotic WorX. This program allows high school and college students to gain experience working with robotics and develops their problem-solving abilities.   

Precision Cobotics is an automation company based in Lititz that houses many services for customers to understand automation as well as provide training on specific products the company uses. The company aims to provide more engagement to STEM to younger individuals, which is what started the partnership and Robotic WorX program with Millersville University.  

Of only one of four awards presented at the 2024 STEM Awards Banquet and the only award presented to a partnership, representatives from Millersville University and Precision Cobotics expressed the honor that comes with receiving this award in just the first year of the program.  

“Our passion and motivation is to provide that same spark to others to allow them to see the amazing opportunities in this field,” says John Bridgen, president of Precision Cobotics and co-founder for Robotic WorX. “By winning this award we make the program visible to more people, giving us an opportunity to engage with more youth and make an even bigger impact.”  

According to Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor in MU’s Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology department, Automation & Robotics Engineering Technology program coordinator and co-founder for Robotic WorX, the award aligns with the University’s core values of exploration, public mission, professionalism, inclusion and integrity.  

“It’s a way we hit on the exploration and creativity within our community going out beyond our campus limits,” he says “The professionalism piece is exemplified in the way we allow our students to practice modeling professional interactions with companies through the internship.”  

In just its first year, Robotic WorX guided 600 interns on tours, mini-job shadows and internships related to automation and robotics for real-world STEM problems beyond the classroom. 39% of the interns were underrepresented minorities, creating a diverse environment for students to engage in. College students are paired with high school students, acting as mentors and preparing them for what to expect at a college level.   

The main focus of the program is to provide students with a STEM experience they will not find in school and provides a larger talent pool of career-ready candidates for companies to recruit.  

As for the future of the program, Haughery and Bridgen plan to expand the internship and mini-job shadows with the hopes of increasing the number of students as more funds come in.  

“In terms of the future with Precision Cobotics, we plan to submit funding requests to continue the process into the coming years,” says Haughery. “We have funding secured through January thanks to Millersville University Workforce Initiative and LCSA support.”  

The program is proudly sponsored by Lancaster County Workforce Development Board, Lancaster STEM Alliance, Career Ready Lancaster and Advanced Atomization Technologies.  

For more information on tours of the lab, applications for job shadows or applications for the internship, please visit precisioncobotics.com/solutions-lab. 

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