Teacher-Engineer STEM Scholar Academy (TESSA)

TESSA academy

TESSA Academy forms a relationship between the engineering profession and middle school education on a personal level to promote engineering problem solving based on fundamental math and science principles and practices. 

About the Program

Educational teams of practicing engineers with a pair of middle school teachers (math and science) are created to support the development and integration of engineering education standards in the middle school classroom. Teams of at least two middle school teachers from the same school and practicing engineers interested in promoting engineering as a field of study and profession. TESSA alums are highly encouraged to participate in the summer workshop.

The goals of the program are to:
  • Familiarize teachers with engineering practices as set forth by the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Provide resources for the incorporation of engineering practices into the middle school curriculum that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Create supportive partnerships between teachers and engineers such that engineers will serve as yearlong resources for teachers as they implement engineering practices into their classes.
Expected Outcomes:
  • At least one engineering design challenges/tasks will be incorporated into the curriculum during the school year and 9 or more communications will occur between the teacher and engineering partner(middle school teachers)
  • At least three inquiry-based teaching experiences will be communicated and reflected upon (elementary school teachers)
  • Upon completion of the program, teachers will receive a stipend of $750 each.

Scheduled professional learning activities will take place at the STEM Discovery Lab at 88 Commercial Street in Manchester, NH. Classroom activities will take place at the participating schools. 


Summer Workshop:

June 27th – July 1st from 8:30am – 1:30 pm with lunch provided

School Year Support and Learning Activities:

Teachers meet and collaborate with a team of engineers that will serve as a resource throughout the school year.

Saturday Lab Workshops:

Workshop activities include practice and discussion about the incorporation of engineering practices in the classroom. Four undergraduate STEM majors from UNH Manchester make demonstrations of lab materials.

Community of Practice Meetings:

December 2016 and May 2017, 4-6 pm

Share classroom experiences and self-asses progress and challenges

Lab Materials:

UNH STEM Discovery Lab Lending Program will provide teachers with computing and engineering lab materials for their classroom activities.

  • Sean Tavares, Program Faculty Director, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, UNH Manchester, UNH
  • Baron Richardson, Program Master Teacher, Science teacher, Hillside Middle School
  • Diane Silva Pimentel, TESSA Team Leader and Program Evaluator, Assistant Professor of STEM Education, College of Liberal Arts, UNH
  • Sarah Grosvenor, Inquiry Teaching Methods Team Leader, Field Specialist, Affiliate Specialist STEM Discovery Lab, Cooperative Extension, UNH
  • Jodi Harper, Recruitment Team Leader, Literacy Program Director

How to Apply

The application requires answering some brief questions about yourself and your background. Please note that there is a limited number of spaces. The deadline for applying is June 15, 2016. Acceptance will be made on a rolling, first-come-first-served basis. Notifications will be sent out no later than June 17. Completed applications submitted after the deadline will be reviewed within 24 hours, after which acceptance decisions will be communicated immediately.

Apply Now

Questions? Please email Mihaela Sabin at mihaela.sabin@unh.edu.


Program Sponsors