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) were created to support the development and integration of engineering education standards in the middle school classroom. Teams are composed 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 is now in its 3rd year and 2017-2018 will be a booster year for current participants.

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)


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. 

Learning Experiences

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.

Fall and Spring Lab Workshops:

Workshop activities include practice and discussion about the incorporation of engineering practices in the classroom.

Lab Materials:

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

Program Sponsors