Impacts

Past, present, and future, NH Space Grant is here to help New Hampshire STEM students reach their goals.

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Currently Funded Projects

While Space Grant's primary focus is on post-secondary STEM research, funding is also granted to informal educators (like museums and science centers) and to K-12 outreach programs through our affiliates.

Higher Education

URC floor shot. Hundreds of students and visitors examine dozens of research posters in the Whittemore Center Arena

UNH Undergraduate Research Conference (URC)

NHSGC provids awards for outstanding student research presented in the Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Symposium, part of the week-long Undergraduate Research Conference held at the University of New Hampshire. 2022 awards were granted to  Amanda Wester (Physics), Jeffery Campbell (Engineering Physics), and Gavin Riley (Physics).

MSDC's Redstone Plaza, highlighting its 1/6 scale Redstone Rocket, with the Discovery Center in the background

Interns at MSDC

Two undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields are selected to develop, enhance and implement seven week-long summer STEM day camps for children ages 5 through 14. Their program includes space exploration, rocketry, coding and robotics, aircraft design, 3D design and fabrication, and UAVs.

A WISP participant explains her research poster to visitors

Dartmouth Women in Science Program Research Internship Program

WISP provides first and second year undergraduate women with paid, part-time research opportunities with science researchers. Interns present their research in poster form at the annual Wetterhahn Science Symposium in May. 

Fellowships and Scholarships

Funding is provided for students in NASA-relevant disciplines, including Space Physics, Earth Science, Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Molecular and Evolutionary Biology, Chemistry, Applied Meteorology, and Engineering.

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University of New Hampshire

Undergraduate students can receive reimbursement for qualifying conference travel expenses (via their advisors), and undergraduate research assistantships. Graduate students are funded via fellowship awards and internship support.

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Plymouth State University

Undergraduate students can receive reimbursement for qualifying conference travel expenses (via their advisors), and undergraduate research assistantships. Graduate students are funded via fellowship awards and internship support.

Dartmouth College pinecone and wordmark

Dartmouth College

Undergraduate students can receive reimbursement for qualifying conference travel expenses (via their advisors), and undergraduate research assistantships. Graduate students are funded via fellowship awards and internship support.

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CCSNH

NHSGC provides scholarships to students at CCSNH campuses who are studying STEM disciplines

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NASA Internships and Fellowships

Learn more at https://intern.nasa.gov/

Informal Education

Three young visitors partake of a hands-on exhibit with two adults wearing white labcoats

Aerospace Festival

Aerospacefest celebrates space science and aeronautics with telescopes and solar viewing, the EclipseMobile, Ham Radio operators, radio-controlled airplanes, Mad Science of Maine, and more. NHSGC is one of several sponsors of this event. The keynote speaker was Commander of the 23rd Space Squadron, David Zesinger, Lt. Col. USSF, who presented three Alex Higgins Space Grant Scholarship awards, for which NH students ages 9-18 compete for free tuition to Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocketry Center in Huntsville, AL. This year's festival also included a premier of a new planetarium show: A Day on Mars. Nearly 400 people attended in 2021.

Mount Washington Observatory with a vast orange sunset

Mount Washington Observatory Distance Learning Program

Since 2009, Mount Washington Observatory's Distance Learning Program has connected scientists located at New England's tallest peak with thousands of schoolchildren from New Hampshire to New South Wales. The tallest point in the northeastern United States and strategically located at the convergence of three major storm tracks, the summit of Mount Washington is battered year-round by some of the most extreme conditions on the planet. Through interactive video conferencing, go live to the summit of Mount Washington and learn about climate and weather from the people who know it best: The hardy men and women living and working in the Observatory’s legendary summit weather station. They’ll share their first-hand knowledge and experience in an exciting, interactive format. Close that textbook and enter the alpine zone!

Planets of the solar system to scale by size, but not by distance!

Superstellar Fridays

At the McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center, every Friday is "SuperStellar." Open to the public, NHSGC supports Friday evening presentations by scientists on discoveries, historical events, and science concepts. The evening ends with a look at "Tonight's Sky" in the full-dome theatre.

Carmela Amato-Wierda performs a demonstration with liquid nitrogen for Tech Camp attendees

UNH Tech Camp

A set of summer programs for students entering grades 6 through 12 designed to increase STEM literacy. The programs engage young people in interactive, hands-on, problem solving activities in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. UNH Tech Camp is offered by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of New Hampshire and makes available the benefits of the UNH research campus to the community at large. These programs immerse campers in the world of science, engineering and technology. See photos from this year's sessions on the UNH Tech Camp Facebook page!

Affiliate Highlights

August 2022:

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center's innovative collaboration with New Hampshire's specialty technical high schools, at the opening of student-led exhibits on Living Beyond Earth and Planetary Geology.

Read more

Alumni Stories

New Hampshire Space Grant Consortium has funded students and affiliates for more than 30 years. Click headers to read more about how Space Grant funding has influenced a generation of students and scientists.

Colleen Ann Ross: 

Teacher Assistant Science & Social Studies

2015 Space Grant Undergraduate Scholarship, 2017 Space Grant Undergraduate Scholarship
Surry Village Charter School - Paraprofessional(science and social studies)

Since graduating with an Associate's in Math and Science in 2017, I have also completed an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education in 2019. Having been awarded the NASA Space Grant several times along my education journey, I have been honored to have contributed in many ways to STEM in my community.  

As you already know, the program I developed called Be GIFTS (Boys and Girls Initiating Future Thinking in Science), has run in many capacities and with many age groups over the past 5 years. While completing my ECE degree, I was able to advocate for STEM in early learning. While working at an elementary school in 2018-2019, I also completed practicum work at a pre-school. I planned, developed and implemented several STEM curricula aligned with NH Early Learning Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. I modified and made accommodations to these curricula to run programming for grades Pre-K-5. These programs were run within the school day in the classroom, in after school programs, at public libraries, kids collaboratives, the YMCA, 4-H, UNH Cooperative Extension and small group tutoring sessions. These programs included Chemistry, Botany, Math, Engineering, Earth Science, Aerospace, Astronomy, Geology, Ecology, Biology and Microbiology.

In 2019-2020, I taught at a private Catholic Classical Education School for a mixed grade classroom of gifted K-2 students. I continued to develop and implement the STEM curriculum and our big project was designing and building 15 small scale aquaponics systems while learning about the life cycles of aquatic organisms and plants, the water cycle, water availability, environmental science, the aquaponics cycle and sustainable systems. We also studied and did project based learning in environmental science, energy systems in the environment, biodiversity and a research project on famous scientists. 

I then spent some time in 2020 working at a child care facility with 2-3 year olds. I brought STEM to this age group through hands-on, nature based play and exploration. The children used inquiry based learning to solve problems using loose parts and testing their hypotheses. 

In January 2021, I transitioned into a position in the middle school at a local charter school. I worked with special education and Title I students in Science and Social Studies. I was given the opportunity to teach a unit on Microbiology to grades 5 and 6. This involved lab safety, microbial studies of disease and immunity, and a lab growing microbes and then testing properties of anti-microbial substances. We also studied slow and rapid changes to Earth's surface by building and observing the changes in a stream table. Our final project for the year has been planning, designing, and building a large model to demonstrate seafloor spreading.

Looking ahead, I will be moving into the position of Assistant Teacher for Science and Social Studies at the same charter school for grades 5-8. Working in conjunction with the Science teacher, we will be teaching using the Next Generation Science Standards for the following topics: grades 5/6-Natural Resources, Plants, Ecology, Cells and Cell Membranes, Earth Systems and Weather, Animal Adaptations, Water and Earth, Sun, and Moon. Grades 7/8-Light and Optics, Evolution and Natural Selection, Heredity and Genetics, Earth History, and Energy. Our school uses project based learning and we will be applying for a NASA Space Grant for Educators for one of our larger project ideas, which will be a room size, scale model of the solar system. We will also apply for a grant for octet building and launching and to build a groundwater model.

I will also begin to initiate a proposal for an after school program to implement the Be GIFTS (Boys and Girls Initiating Future Thinking in Science) for grades 5-8 to enrich and extend their learning and love of STEM!

My ultimate goal is to continue my own education in STEM to complete a Bachelor's degree. I still have a dream to work for NASA as a program coordinator to advocate for, bring resources to and implement STEM programming to children and youths. Thank YOU for everything you have done along this journey to help me succeed so I can help others succeed! 

Dakota:

Scholarship recipient, Lakes Region Community College

My name is Dakota and I was fortunate to be selected for the NASA Space Grant Scholarship.

At 30, I felt a little like the old dog at the pound that no one would want to pick for grants and scholarships. I was very pleasantly surprised to open my student e-mail this morning and see my award! I also got a letter in the mail this morning that my rent was going up, so emotionally..I needed this today.

I made poor decisions in my teenage years and early 20's which led me to abandon my college career and get a factory job. Well I'll tell ya, ten years of standing on hard concrete in uncomfortable boots has done me in. Although an accomplished machinist now, I am ecstatic for the opportunity to pick up the torch again and pursue new beginnings in technology.

I've been a computer kid since middle school and my knowledge, enjoyment, and understanding on PC technology has only grown over the years. I revamped our storage room into a PC room, just for school! (Definitely not to make a super cool computer game room with a 'Girls Only' sign.) I jokingly tell people who ask why I picked Computer Information Systems that 'I really just want to sit down'. There is definitely some truth to this, but I also know this is a field that I will enjoy. I like the broad structure of LRCC's Computer Information Systems program because it lets me sample a little of everything the field has to offer. I'm leaning toward cybersecurity, but I am open to all of it. I'm a decent artist and have taken graphic design courses, and 3D CAD modeling courses as well. It's important to be a well-rounded candidate, and I'm a quick study!

I hope I am able to find a position that affords me the opportunity to travel, work remotely, or even freelance under contract. I don't think I've had a week off of work (that wasn't for having COVID) my entire adult life. My friend Brandon has been freelancing across Asia for a few years now and I'm getting pretty jealous of his Instagram posts..

Jokes aside.

You've bet on the underdog. A woman in STEM, breaking gender molds, and paving the way for other young women and fresh faced high school girls. Going back to school at my age might be a challenge with all of life's other responsibilities nipping at my heels, but I consider this my last chance to really make something better of myself. I am truly grateful for your support as I come into the first chapter of my new life. Looking around at the state of things today, I would say we ALL need all the help we can get right now!

Thank you again for your vote of confidence,

Dakota

Future Tech. All-Star

Madina:

Scholarship recipient, White Mountains Community College

I am honored to receive the NASA Space Grant Scholarship at WMCC, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support to students who need it most.

I am a Senior majoring in IT, working towards a Criminal Justice Certificate, and hoping to work as a Cybersecurity specialist. Originally I am from Kazakhstan and moved to NH 5 years ago. English is my sixth language, so please excuse any grammar mistakes in this email. I had financial hardship to start school, and I am happy that I can finish school with less financial trouble.

Your scholarship has opened a door and the prospect of a brighter future and will play a key role in shaping me into a successful person in the future. Donors like you make life brighter for us, and I can only hope that one day, I, too, will be in a position to bring a smile to another student.

I cannot express my gratitude enough, and I want you to know that your generous support will see me achieve my dreams.

Testimonials

I've been grateful for support in my goal to become the first doctorate in my family provided by the NH Space Grant. I've been able to focus on my courses and research more easily knowing I've had the support.

Stephanie Podjed

NH Space Grant Fellowship, 2019
NH Space Grant Fellowship, 2021

[Space Grant] allowed me to attend the NASA Academy which introduced me to the idea of pursuing a career in propulsion (my roommate was a propulsion grad student) and that there was a non-government/ defense side of the space industry. 

Erik Damback

2003 NASA Summer Academies,
Blue Origin, LLC - Propulsion Engineer III

Receiving the grant allowed me to complete my associates degree at NHTI with little to no financial stress. I am deeply grateful to have received the grant. I am currently waiting for the spring semester to start so I can pursue my majors in math and physics at UNH.

Johnathan Abbott

2020 NH Space Grant Scholarship

Student Reports

Coming soon!