A collaboration between the Manchester
School District, the University System
of New Hampshire, Manchester Community
College and the business community.

Manchester is a city with limitless assets in its people, location, and businesses.

The education and business communities of Manchester share a vision of an educational system that prepares our students for the challenge of meeting the daily needs of this dynamic, diverse, and richly complex community. Meeting these needs requires students to be productive, enlightened members of the community. Our educational system must be designed to enable its graduates to do, to be, and to contribute in today’s evolving society.

As educators, business leaders, and community members, we join together to seize the opportunity and to accept the challenge of the future. We seek to smooth the paths we have already fashioned for our students and we seek to build new paths, new opportunities for our students. We undertake this task with the understanding that it requires the collaboration and sustained effort of all advocates for children in our community.

The focus of this collaboration is to identify and allocate scarce resources while building on the existing assets of the community. Although there are number of places and schools where we could focus our efforts, we believe that Manchester High School West provides a unique launching point. It has strong leadership, a dedicated faculty, a strong curriculum, a sense of community, and with emerging and new leadership it is poised for new challenges and opportunities.

To that end, we establish the following aspirations for Pathways: STEAM at Manchester High School West. A Collaborative Academy.

The Academy will help develop confident, well-rounded students better prepared to meet the challenges of a more global society.

Founding Business Community Partners


STEAM Ahead Business Supporters

Fairpoint Communications
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NH
NBT Bank
People’s United Bank
Mall of NH
Workplace Benefit Solutions
RSCC Aerospace
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Telephone Network Technologies
Harvard Pilgrim
Auto Desk
Cross Insurance
Eastern Bank
Office Resources
Granite United Way
Waterford Development Companies
Bosch Community Fund


STEAM Ahead Educational Supporters

University System of New Hampshire
University of New Hampshire Manchester
Plymouth State University
Manchester Community College
Southern New Hampshire University

For more information about the STEAM Ahead initiative, please contact Bob Baines at 603-263-7883 or bob@steamaheadnh.com


New Hampshire needs more graduates with skill and knowledge in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) to drive its economic development.

ASPIRATION: Increase the number of high school graduates who can pursue STEAM careers.


The arts and humanities capture and reflect the uniqueness of what it means to be human; what it means to create; what it means to know each other. The arts provide us with expanded vision of the possibilities of life; complement and support other disciplines; and are integral to a complete education. The push for 21st Century Skills includes not only innovation and technology but also creativity, collaboration and communication.

ASPIRATION: The arts shall be integrated into the curriculum; creativity of thought and expression shall be part of STEAM at Manchester High School West.


The pathways for STEAM graduates include higher education (the associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree) and immediate entry into needed STEAM positions in business following high school. New pathways increase access and enhance affordability for students to enroll at Manchester Community College and the University System of New Hampshire colleges.

ASPIRATION: Establish pathways that enable students to pursue STEAM education and preparation in higher education by providing paths to higher education at both the community college and the university levels.


The cost of higher education is escalating and students in New Hampshire are graduating with debt which is among the highest in the nation.

ASPIRATION: Students will be provided the opportunity to earn a minimum of one year of college credits (30), at no cost to the student, while they are also earning their high school diplomas. This has the potential of saving students the cost of one full year of college tuition.
Students will also gain direct admission to Manchester Community College and the University System of New Hampshire colleges.


We need to encourage and empower more students to pursue post-secondary education and/or be prepared to enter the workforce directly will the academic skills aligned with the job skills needed by the business community. While there is always a core group of students who are college bound, there are many others who consider post-secondary education to be beyond their consideration and reach. Also, too many students are dropping out of school because of many factors, thus not being able to reach their full potential.

ASPIRATION: Students will be provided the opportunity to engage in a rigorous and relevant array of courses and other educational opportunities that will inspire them to acquire the required skills to be successful in securing employment directly following high school in STEAM-related fields and/or to gain admittance to college.


Learning is not restricted to sitting in a traditional classroom. The State of New Hampshire allows school districts to provide Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) for credit. The business and educational communities will join together to provide exposure to many areas of the community through internships and externships for students. This provides them with real world applications of learning and it brings the business community into the schools.

ASPIRATION: Students will receive opportunities to enhance their education and to earn high school and college credit through internships at area businesses and community organizations such as the Palace Theatre and the Currier Museum of Art.


The birthplace of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics is Manchester, New Hampshire. Students who participate in FIRST gain many of the skills associated with STEM careers.

ASPIRATION: STEAM Ahead will collaborate with FIRST to align the FIRST experience with high school and college curriculum for credit.


It has been said that “The teacher is the first learner in the classroom.” Professional development opportunities for teachers is critical to ensure that they have the opportunity keep current with research on how students learn, emerging technology and strategies to engage more students in the STEAM fields.

ASPIRATION: Teachers will be provided with a wide variety of professional development opportunities through programs coordinated with our higher education partners and the business community. There will also be opportunities to increase the number teachers who have advanced degrees in their subject areas.


Potential outcomes from the pursuit of these aspirations include:


Students will benefit from a focused STEAM curriculum enriched with the arts. Our increasingly complex society driven by rapidly advancing technology requires students to achieve a greater understanding of the expanding knowledge base that drives technology and innovation. When the arts are infused into curriculum and educational experiences, students receive core knowledge, develop technology skills, and use creativity to expand that knowledge and those skills.

OUTCOME: Students will become literate in the core STEAM and other core subjects infused with the arts, blending content knowledge and skills of application.


New pathways for STEAM will involve collaboration with higher education in Manchester. These pathways lead to collaboration between the high school and higher education. Articulation agreements between selected partners can provide enhanced opportunities for Manchester High School West graduates moving them more quickly and more economically towards careers in STEAM.

OUTCOME: Students can combine high school with higher education through articulation agreements with the University System of New Hampshire and the Manchester Community College. A potential outcome is articulation agreements that provide up to one year or more of college credits for participating high school students.


A focused collaboration between the faculty at the University System of New Hampshire and the Manchester Community College will stimulate educational innovation by bringing together experts in high school education and higher education specialists in curriculum and instruction and experts in content areas.

OUTCOME: Educational innovation that can be accelerated and transferred to other pre K-12 schools and institutions of higher education throughout New Hampshire and beyond. Other school districts will be inspired by the innovations and collaborations in Manchester and seek to replicate our approach throughout the state.


A collaborative academy concept in which faculty at Manchester Community College and University System of New Hampshire colleges works closely with the faculty of Manchester High School West. Together, they will create a unique educational opportunity that teams teachers, interns, and STEAM professors to address issues of curriculum and instruction while providing professional development and research opportunities for Manchester High School West faculty.

OUTCOME: A laboratory school/academy provides a unique opportunity for professional development, collaboration and research among the Manchester High School West faculty, Manchester Community College faculty and University System of New Hampshire Colleges.


The collaborative academy not only forges greater ties with higher education, it also purposively creates greater connections with the business community through multiple means. Internships, externships, team teaching, and guest lectures and demonstrations involving business leaders, scientists, engineers, and mathematicians will not supplement the curriculum but, rather will be part of the curriculum. A STEM Discovery Lab in the Pandora Building of Manchester’s Millyard will be bring together K-16 students, teachers, and community and business partners.

OUTCOME: A greater connection with business and the professions will provide real world experiences for the collaborative Academy students. Students will gain an understanding of the challenges of the application of STEAM content and will experience how creativity and collaboration enhance the work environment.

Development Strategies

An Advisory Committee consisting of education, business, and community leaders will support for the Steering Committee by marshaling needed financial, human and other resources and providing broad community support for the implementation efforts for the Steering Committee.

A Steering Committee has been formed to directly assist those involved with planning and implementing the goals of the Collaborative Academy. The Steering Committee will be comprised of representatives from the Manchester School District, Manchester High School West, Manchester Community College and the University System of New Hampshire colleges.

The Steering Committee has been tasked with developing the Pathways Program and working with the Advisory Committee as well as the administration, faculty and staff at Manchester High School West. It will report to the Superintendent and Board of School Committee no later than March, 2014, with recommendations for implementation for the fall of 2014.

STEAM updates


STEAM ahead at Manchester West high school has been featured in the Wall Street Jouranal, The Union Leader, and NHPR.





Facebook: STEAM ahead

Twitter: STEAMaheadMWHS

Instagram: West_High_STEAM


Student Resources
The STEAM students created new mixing tools and presented their tools to engineers at Admix, who chose the winners.

The STEAM students created new mixing tools and presented their tools to engineers at Admix, who chose the winners. This is Gavin Fitzpatrick and Dominic Girard.

The STEAM students created new mixing tools and presented their tools to engineers at Admix, who chose the winners.

The STEAM students created new mixing tools and presented their tools to engineers at Admix, who chose the winners. This is Erin Stockbridge and Luis Rosado.

A quick diagram of the human heart for Mrs. Aspinwall's biology class by Ciara Tisbert

A quick diagram of the human heart for Mrs. Aspinwall’s biology class by Ciara Tisbert

Lord of the Flies T-Shirt

Lord of the Flies T-Shirt by Ciara Tisbert


This page will feature videos of student work and expositions.  The page will also include a list of upcoming events in the STEAM Ahead academy.  Please check in periodically for new and updated videos and events.


Contact Us

For more information about the STEAM Ahead initiative, please contact Bob Baines at 603-263-7837 or bob@steamaheadnh.com or Paul D. Bagley, college and career counselor for the STEAM program at Manchester High School West at: vistawest@mansd.org