The Project SMART Space Science module teaches real-world physics, using classroom instruction, individual research projects, and group projects.

You have an opportunity to work with faculty in areas of physics research such as:

  • cosmic rays
  • solar physics
  • heliospheric physics
  • magnetospheric physics
  • ground-based space physics 

group group Thompson Hall
Group balloon project

Cost and UNH Credits...

Students will receive 4 UNH credits upon completion of Project SMART.

Project SMART Summer program costs are detailed on the UNH Project SMART site...

Fees cover UNH room and board and project field trips.

Students can return home for each weekend of the 4-week program, or (for an additional fee) students can participate in an optional campus program for all 3 weekends.

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Contact the director for information.


Project SMART: Space Science
Student Information

EACH SUMMER the University of New Hampshire hosts this four week-long summer program for 10th and 11th grade high school students.

Project SMART is designed for motivated students interested in advancing their knowledge and background in different areas of science, and studying its applications and implications to society.

The program includes lectures, discussions, hands-on experience, field trips, and an opportunity to work in UNH scientific research laboratories.

Students join the current research of our faculty, finding carefully chosen projects with real application and importance.  Topics vary from year-to-year, as does the research of our faculty. Students can expect a lively and challenging exposure to physics research.

The Space Science module includes:
(1) a basic physics lecture with first-year college topics that students can be expected to learn,
(2) advanced lectures on space physics topics needed to understand the research,
(3) research topics assigned to teams of two students working with faculty mentor
(4) a team project, which has historically been the launching of a high-altitude balloon; one component of that project has been the construction of the balloon payload.

balloon launch
  Balloon payload, developed by Project SMART students and their mentors.  

The program offers challenges, hard work, and fun—all while networking with peers and the UNH faculty and students. Students stay in a UNH dorm and eat in UNH dining halls, getting a first hand taste of life in college.

On the closing day of Project SMART, students present scientific posters based on their Project SMART activities and make oral presentations to their guests—peers, parents, high school teachers, UNH faculty and staff.

You'll be amazed at what you know then that you don’t know now, and you will be surprised by what you can do in just a month!

For more information on projects that students might see in the Project Smart Space Science Module, check out our teacher's page.

Link to more student information...

Financial support for Project SMART is provided by the Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, the Dean of College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the NH Space Grant Consortium, the NSF-NH EPSCoR Grant, NH Sea Grant program, and the UNH Nanogroup.