Information on pre-college STEM related programs available within New Hampshire are provided as a resource to our section members. We structured the information into Programs for Participants, Resources for Educators and Volunteers and Resources for Parents, which includes activities for preschoolers and at home learners. In addition, we are providing a reference to The Ultimate STEM Guide for Kids, which provides resources beyond New Hampshire.
If you currently participate in IEEE programs that involve working with children, or plan to do so, please review the IEEE Guidelines For Working With Children and IEEE Policies. The Guidelines are referenced within the IEEE Civility Policy.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs provides students with opportunities to learn by doing and apply their engineering, science, and mathematics knowledge.
When students participate in STEM activities, they get…
- A hands-on educational project(s)
- A fun and challenging experiences
- Trained teachers, mentors and volunteers
- To be part of a team
To understand the “why” of STEM, watch This Isn’t a Robot FIRST video (courtesy of RadicalMedia).
If you are involved in a STEM Program, please tell us about related events and activities.
Visit a pre-college STEM event near you and find out what they are like, most are open to the public and you can get a firsthand look at the impact they have on kids and the public
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in New Hampshire in 1989.
FIRST is More Than Robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21 st century work-life skills.
“It’s not about the robots—it’s never been about the robots,” said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research & Development. “We are not using kids to build robots. We are using robots to build kids.”
NE FIRST is the operational partner of the FIRST Robotics Competition in the six New England states
Destination Imagination (DI)
Destination Imagination® (DI) is one of the most popular extracurricular school activities in New Hampshire, with about 2,000 student participants each year from schools and community-based organizations around the state. You really need to see this program in action to truly appreciate it! But even though a picture might be worth a thousand words, we think a video would be even better: https://youtu.be/Zdwhi7oDl4U
Sponsor: New Hampshire’s Incredible Creativity Connection, or NHICC
Target grade levels: Elementary, middle, and high school students
Beaver Works Summer Institute
The MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) is a rigorous, world-class STEM program for talented students who will be entering their senior year in high school. The four-week program teaches STEM skills through project-based, workshop-style courses.
Beaver Works is a joint venture between MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT School of Engineering that is envisioned as an incubator for research and innovation. Beaver Works facilitates project-based learning, a hallmark of an MIT education, and leverages the expertise and enthusiasm of MIT faculty, students, researchers, and Lincoln Laboratory staff to broaden partnerships across both institutions.
Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) is a deep 4-week program in July that allows students to address real-world problems and issues, engages students in hands-on learning, and demonstrates an effective strategy for teaching complex engineering concepts. Students involved in these projects develop innovative solutions to real-world problems and gain an exceptional experience in project-based learning from world-class researchers. The 2020 program featured ten project-based, workshop- style courses: Autonomous RACECAR Grand Prix, Autonomous Air Vehicle Racing, Autonomous Cognitive Assistant, Data Science for Health and Medicine, Build a CubeSat, UAS-SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), Embedded Security and Hardware Hacking, Designing Assistive Technology, Remote Sensing for Disaster Response, and Hack a 3D Printer. We are also currently developing additional courses with autonomous underwater vehicles and Serious Game development with AI. The course projects are designed to require a multidisciplinary and team approach to solve and succeed challenges.
BWSI requires a teacher nomination for students to participate in required online courses that provide the background and prerequisites before completing an enrollment application with an essay and teacher recommendation to be accepted into the program.
Target grade levels: Rising High School Seniors
FIRST Tech Challenge
Teams of middle and high school-aged students are challenged to design, build, and program a robot to play a floor game against other teams’ creations
FIRST LEGO League
Elementary and middle school-aged students research a real-world engineering challenge, develop a solution, and compete with LEGO-based robots of their own design
Grades 4- 8
FIRST LEGO league, Jr
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization seeking to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Girls Who Code Clubs are free, after school programs for 3rd-12th grade girls to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models, and use computer science to change the world.
Girls Who Code has partnered with school districts, libraries, community centers, and non-profit organizations to serve 180,000 girls to date, with alumni choosing to major in computer science, or related fields, at 15 times the national average.
You can find more information about our Clubs program here: GirlsWhoCode.com/Clubs
FIRST Robotics Competition
NH TechFest is a career-oriented Science and Technology Expo designed just for Teens. We want you to come see all the exciting things our exhibitors have brought to show you. Things you won’t see in school, maybe not even on the Internet, perhaps ideas that you have never even dreamed existed.
Since 2009, NH TechFest has been showcasing those exciting STEM occupations by inviting cutting edge technology companies in New England to feature their innovations and ideas in a hands-on format for Middle and High School students. From video game developers to drone racers to roboticists, these are the STEM fields of the Future. And STEM touches all areas- the FBI forensics lab, meteorology, and assistive technologies. How can you be an active participant in the Future? Come see, touch, hear, and experience those ideas and inventions at NH TechFest. Meet the scientists, engineers, and technology professionals and be inspired.
SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from low-cost, easily accessible materials, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.
Seacoast SeaPerch is a partnership between UNH Cooperative Extension, UNH Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM) and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Extension partners with CCOM to support and train volunteers and educators to participate in Seacoast SeaPerch and to host the annual Seacoast SeaPerch Challenge.
Science & Engineering Expo
The purpose of the New Hampshire Science and Engineering Exposition Association (NHSEEA) is the advancement of science education in the State of New Hampshire. The Association intends to do this in two ways. First, through an initiative called the New Hampshire Science and Engineering Exposition, which includes the NH High School Science Fair. Secondly, the Association collaborates with businesses, with communities, and with the state’s colleges and universities.
The New Hampshire Science & Engineering Expo Association (NHSEEA), proud sponsor of the NH High School Science Fair, wants to engage both student s and teachers in hands-on science, engineering and math projects to encourage students to learn and develop the process skills necessary to design and perform experimental procedures.
It has long been known that the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) are not truly attracting enough students to meet the needs of the future. We want to help change that statistic by setting up partnerships within the business community to provide mentoring opportunities for our students while they are doing their engineering projects or independent research.
What better way is there for students to showcase the STEM proficiencies they have used to create solutions to real-world problems than at a Science Fair? NHSEEA wants to help all students become part of the science fair system as their entry onto the pathway to college and beyond.
Target grade levels: High school students
NH Girls Technology Days
Girls Technology Day events are coordinated by the NH Department of Education in partnership with the NH High Tech Council, the Community College System of NH, University of New Hampshire College of Engineering and Physical Science, and many business partners. Since 2012, these events have served to encourage New Hampshire’s female students to become invested in technical career fields during the ninth and tenth grades. Student attendance numbers continue to grow on an annual basis. This year, there are nearly 600 students registered to attend the events on at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord and the University of New Hampshire’s College of Engineering and Physical Science (CEPS) in Durham.
NH Maker and Food Fest
The mission of Wicked STEM is to cultivate and sustain the interest of the region’s youth in STEM careers by providing an exciting and engaging face-to-face experience where they will learn, engage and connect with local experts.
High school and college students from Northern New England will explore the different disciplines of STEM to help them formalize their education plans while discussing careers and internships with participating companies. Hands on activities will be available for a range of ages from elementary through high school.
STEM companies from Northern New England will convene at Wicked STEM to showcase their products, provide hands on STEM activities, and network with the future workforce.
Young Inventors’ Program, a STEM project-based learning program involves more than 3,000 students in grades K-12 from 50 schools and programs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont (and even one student from Colorado). Each of these students is developing essential critical thinking and problem solving skills, as well as learning about invention design and entrepreneurship.
Target grade levels: Elementary, middle, and high school students
IEEE Pre-University Education
A collection of IEEE educational resources for educators, parents, students, IEEE volunteers, and the public to inspire students interest in STEM learning
- TryEngineering.org is a website that provides free pre-university-level engineering resources for educators, parents, and students. The site offers a catalog of engineering lesson plans with hands-on design challenges, resources for teaching in a virtual environment, career profiles, games, and much more.
- TryEngineering lesson plans and toolkit
IEEE has developed several lesson plans to connect students ages 8-18 with the world of engineering. These hands-on lessons reinforce key engineering concepts while building students’ critical-thinking, team-building, and problem-solving skills.
Each lesson provides a hands-on design challenge using low-cost materials. All lesson plans are engineer and teacher reviewed and aligned to national education standards.
The Engineering Lesson Plan Toolkit provides a fun video and PowerPoint presentation outlining the 15 most used TryEngineering lesson plans. The toolkit helps to support teachers on using the lesson plans both virtually or in the classroom.
For additional information and to learn about some of the other programs, check out the Pre-University website.
New Hampshire Society for Technology in Education
The Engineering Mindset
The mission is to help students, engineers and like-minded people learn technical engineering topics through short, simplified tutorials.
We minimize technical jargon while using detailed illustrations and animations to help convey the essentials of each subject with on-demand, internet based, education.
Our motto is simple: Simplify. Teach. Inspire.
What is an Engineering Mindset?
The mindset of an engineer is to solve problems by breaking down any issue into smaller, solvable, chunks to find a solution. Engineers are always looking to expand their knowledge, being constantly curious about how things work, where else they’ve seen something used or where could something be applied.
Everyone has the ability, no one is born with knowledge. Knowledge and understanding are something you earn through questioning, reading, watching, doing and most importantly, trial and error. It is something you can only acquire over time.
UNH STEM Education Resources
Our team addresses these needs head on by engaging K-12 educators, adults, and youth in research-informed STEM learning experiences. We are transforming K-12 STEM education in the Granite State by providing professional development workshops for educators, STEM enrichment for learners, and leadership throughout the state to collaboratively achieve science literacy for all.
Xploration offers students enrichment activities that are not always possible in a regular classroom setting. Most enrichments and workshops are adaptable to any age and skill level. All activities are designed to foster:
- Inquiry Based Learning
- Team building and leadership skills
Xploration provides after school enrichment learning and in-class workshops to children throughout New England. You’ll find us in schools right in your neighborhood!
Xploration promotes fun enrichment that encourages kids to design, create, and problem solve using their thinking skills and team work. This unique program, led by an experienced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) instructor, engages students in learning that is hands-on, team-based, and grounded in scientific exploration.
Types of Volunteers
Here are some generic volunteer roles that support the various STEM programs, as a way to communicate what help might be needed. Each program will have their own titles and responsibilities, and each group will have their own needs that will change over time. Contact your local STEM groups or program to determine how to volunteer.
- Event Volunteers and Judges – Provides resources and expertise to hold, manage and judge program events based on program specific rules
- Technology Mentors – provides expertise and knowledge about various technologies and engineering concepts
- Team Coaches – works with the students to help them organize their team
- Program Liaison’s – acts as liaison between the regional or national program and local teams
Children are naturally curious and fascinated when learning. The challenge parents and teachers face, is providing activities in an age appropriate and interesting format to harness that curiosity. Below is a small sampling of websites that offer ideas, activities, books, videos or provide information on other resources, that parents can use.
Preschool and toddler activities
STEM Education & Activities for Preschools
Engaging Preschoolers in STEM: It’s Easier Than You Think!
Everything You Wanted to Know About STEM Activities for Toddlers
Lego STEM Activities for a Preschooler
Tips and at-home activities for families
10 STEM Tips to Share with Parents
New Hampshire PBS “Learn at Home” is dedicated to providing leading educational resources to help parents, students and educators enhance learning at home. There’s a new theme every day featuring videos, lesson plans and activities to engage learners of every age.
10 Easy STEM Activities for Kids To Try at Your Next Family Night
STEM at Home
At-Home Activities organized into Elementary, Middle and High School
16 Great Learning Podcasts for the Classroom
10 Great Movies for the STEM Classroom
Broadcasts and videos of chemistry demonstrations
How Young Girls Can Combat “The Confidence Gap” in STEM
Parent’s and Children’s Reading Lists
What is STEM?
K-12 STEM Career Prep
STEM Learning Opportunities
An explanation of application development for kids, including tools, learning platforms and courses for children.
The BOOST Cafe Resource Center is a collection of FREE resources curated by BOOST and sorted by grade level and category.
A searchable database for tools to support those involved in education and the workforce, at all levels, and from all communities as they scale up capabilities for online learning and continue teaching, learning, and working from home.
A series of webinars for parents, educators, school administrators and anyone who have students in their care. These webinars are intended to help them with practical tips they can employ for how to keep their children engaged and learning with STEM at Home