Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy

Dinah Whipple Academy

An Exploration of Pre-Engineering and the Black Experience

Progam will run July 8-12, 2024. Application Now Live!

The Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy is an immersive educational program that explores science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM), as well as the Black experience. The program will take place on the UNH Durham campus this summer, providing students with access to state-of-the-art facilities, advanced technology and award-winning faculty. It is offered through UNH Tech Camp, which has been providing dynamic, experiential summer programs for middle and high school students for more than a decade. All levels of experience are welcome.

The academy is named after Dinah Whipple, a significant figure in New Hampshire history best known for founding the state’s first school for Black children in Portsmouth circa 1806. The former enslaved New Hampshire native became a leader in the community, advocate for education and an inspiration for future generations.

The Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy is offered at no cost to participants. All skill levels welcome! Space is limited. 

Grades 7 - 10

Dinah Whipple

The Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy that was featured in the NH Business Review on August 11, 2023. Click above image to read the story!

This program will introduce students to the basic principles of molecular biology, highlighting its major applications in biomedical science, genetic engineering and bioengineering. Molecular biology explores the tiny building blocks of life called biomolecules and how they function in living organisms. The knowledge gained from research in this field is essential to advancing our understanding of life, improving human health and addressing various challenges in areas ranging from agriculture to forensics.

Through hands-on activities and collaborative demonstrations, students in this program will learn about such cutting-edge topics as polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, DNA extraction, blood typing, bacterial transformation and more. By the end of the program, students will fuse artistry and science by transforming bacteria to express colored pigments and create a one-of-a-kind living masterpiece.

Along with lab-focused activities, students will also take a deep dive into humanities. They will discuss the Black experience in this country, as well as learn the origins of African empires. Students will be introduced to prominent Black figures in American history and get the chance to discuss how their contributions changed our world today.  

An important component of the Dinah Whipple Academy and UNH Tech Camp mission is to foster a diverse and inclusive community, providing pre-engineering education to students from all ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. All are encouraged to apply.


For questions or information on registration, please contact Carmela Amato-Wierda, Director of Tech Camp, at carmela.amato-wierda@unh.edu.

The Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy is made possible by Appledore Marine Engineering, LLC’s choosing to dedicate resources to create more of a balance within a system filled with inequities. 

Dinah Whipple Academy


Dzijeme Ntumi Tech Camp

Bridging the Diversity Gap

UNH alumna Dzijeme Ntumi is the lead instructor and curriculum designer for the Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy. An engineer for the NH Department of Transportation, Ntumi is committed to bringing more equity and inclusion to STEM education. Read more.

Tech Camp

Who Is Dinah Whipple?

Dinah Whipple was a significant figure in NH history best known for founding the state’s first school for Black children. She was also a community leader, advocate for education and an inspiration for future generations. Read more.

Dinah Whipple Academy

Leading by Example

UNH alumnus Aboubacar Konate has overcome many challenges in his life to achieve success as a student and engineer. As a lead instructor in the Dinah Whipple program, he shares not only his expertise in engineering, but also his inspirational personal journey. Read more.

Representation Matters: NH Doctoral Students Share Expertise and Insight

Dinah Whipple

As the Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy continues to grow, Tech Camp is leveraging the expertise of doctoral students from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences to help lead programs, share their expertise and mentor students.

This past summer, Stella Ansah, King-James Egbe and Femi Olugbon joined the Dinah Whipple team to work with students in grades 8-10. All hail from western Africa and share a passion for STEM education and inspiring young Black students to pursue careers in science and engineering.

“Representation matters,” says Ansah, a native of Ghana who is studying electrical and computer engineering. “All STEM fields benefit from diverse perspectives. Having people of color, especially in rooms where design decisions are being made, allows them to bring their unique lived experiences to the table.”

Programs like Dinah Whipple play a vital role in breaking down barriers and providing opportunities for underrepresented students to excel in STEM-related fields,” adds Olugbon, a native of Nigeria also studying electrical and computer engineering. “It's not only about education but also about empowerment and creating a brighter, more equitable future for all.”

Over the course of the weeklong program, a variety of science and engineering topics were covered through hands-on activities, collaborative projects and demonstrations. One memorable exercise had the students brainstorm ideas on how to use smart technology to assist individuals with disabilities. They also got a chance to express their creativity through painting exercises and learn about the Black experience and African American history.

Ansah, Egbe and Olugbon all agree that the Dinah Whipple program provides a fertile learning environment for students. “It was fascinating to set the stage for the students and witness their curiosity and creativity blossom,” says Egbe, a native of Nigeria who is studying civil engineering. “It was even more rewarding to observe them develop a newfound appreciation for STEM.”

Olugbon agrees: “The reaction from the students was incredibly positive and enthusiastic. They showed a genuine interest in STEM concepts and were eager to explore and learn. Their curiosity was infectious, and it was rewarding to see them engage with the material and ask insightful questions.”