New Hampshire Space Grant Current Projects

Project SMART student explains her research at the closing poster session

K-12 and pre-college programs:

Aerospace Festival

Students learn science concepts from the Mad Science team, at MSDCAerospacefest celebrates space science and aeronautics with a weekend of rocket and balloon launches, telescopes and solar viewing, Mad Science, Ham Radio operators, radio-controlled airplanes, an Astronaut keynote speaker, and more. NHSGC one of several sponsors of this event. The keynote speaker, NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams, spoke of living and working in space aboard the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, and what it takes to achieve your dream, and presented the 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 planetarium show (The Little Star that Could) on basic astronomy for elementary and pre-school children and their families.

Mount Washington Observatory Distance Learning Program.

Mount Washington Observatory's Weather Discovery Center in North Conway, NHSince 2009, Mount Washington Observatory's Distance Learning Program has connected scientists located at New Englands 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. Nowhere else on Earth is readily found such a consistent combination of sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, freezing fog and driving snow.

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!

SuperStellar Fridays

Composite image of planets in our solar systemAt 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.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Exhibits

The discovery center created an exhibit on living and working in space, drawing on artifacts from prior space grant activities and from items items obtained through NASA's de-accessioning program.

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. Now in their 12th year, these programs immerse campers in the world of science, engineering and technology.

Higher Education

UNH Undergraduate Research Conference: Interdisciplinary Science & Eng. Symposium

NHSGC provided one of nine awards for outstanding student research presented in the Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Symposium, part of the week-long Undergraduate Research Conference held at the Univeristy of New Hampshire.


LunaCats 2016 teamNHSGC sponsors the UNH "LunaCats" team. Students design, build, test, and finally release their mining robots into the annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition. In past years, the team has placed from first to fifth in various categories, including Efficient Use of Power and the Mining category.

Interns at McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

Two undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields were selected to develop, enhance and implement seven week-long summer STEM day camps for children ages 5 through 14. Their program included space exploration, rocketry, coding and robotics, aircraft design, 3D design and fabrication, and UAVs, and was created with assistance from a 2015 Space Grant intern hired as an MSDC seasonal employee. The interns further developed the 3D design camp into a one-day winter break workshop, and aided families and the general public in the STEM exhibit galleries as docents and activity leaders.

Dartmouth WISP (Women in Science Project) research internship program

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. The current award supported one WISP undergraduate researcher who continued to do heliospheric research into her sophomore year in Physics. Another Physics undergraduate researcher's work has led to her successful application to the senior honors thesis program in the Physics department. Three undergraduates in the Physics Department were also involved in Outreach activities with local schools.

UNH Student Research supports

The UNH Research Experience and Apprenticeship Program (REAP) allows honors students to apprentice with a faculty mentor for 10 weeks the summer after their first year at UNH. The faculty mentors write a short research proposal and provides a detailed work plan and a student mentoring plan as part of the proposal. This year NH Space Grant supported two physics students' projects: Searching for Polarization in Gamma Ray Bursts, and Studying Cosmic-Ray Neutrons. Space Grant also partnered with the UNH chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers to support three students working under a faculty mentor.

Fellowships and scholarships

New Hampshire Space Grant provides scholarships to:

  • Students in the Community College System of New Hampshire who are studying STEM disciplines.
  • Undergraduate students in STEM fields in the three Higher Education affiliates (UNH, Dartmouth College, and Plymouth State University)
  • Graduate Fellowships and Stipends in the higher education institutions, for students in masters and doctoral degree programs in NASA-relevant disciplines, including Space Physics, Earth Science, Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Molecular and Evolutionary Biology, Chemistry, Applied Meteorology, and Engineering.
  • NASA Academy Summer Internship. Dartmouth undergraduate Kathryn Waychoff participated in the NASA MSFC Space Hardware/Robotics Academy in summer 2016. Her teamss project involved the Electrostatic Detainment Unit for Automated Removal of Debris in Orbit (EDUARDO), which will potentially manage the larger debris of older satellites, abandoned rockets, and other inoperable spacecraft in orbit about the Earth.