stemprogramServing more than 800 youth annually throughout the NH Seacoast and southern Maine, New Heights has opened registration for its 2016-2017 school year programs.

Providing opportunities that incorporate everything from the creative arts to science, math, adventure, food and more, this year’s program represents a tangible transition from STEM education to STEAM. While STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, the ‘A’ in STEAM refers to art.

“There is a subtle shift in education that is taking place and we want to be on the forefront of it,” said New Heights Executive Director Tracey Tucker. “Whereas science and technology transformed our economy in the last century, there is evidence to suggest that art and design needs to be integrated in K through 20 education.”

becca Pawling, longtime arts and culture coordinator at New Heights, said the evolution of education in recent years is an exciting development.

“Obviously, I am biased, but I have felt that the arts have been marginalized in education for far too long, so it is very gratifying to see organizations and educational institutions begin to actively integrate art,” she said.

As a result of this transition to STEAM, New Heights has developed a wide variety of new workshops that tangibly incorporate art and/or creative thinking. Beautiful Biology and Sacred Geology are just two examples of STEAM programming. Other STEAM workshops include STEAM: The Science of Color and STEAM: Eco-Dye Chemistry.

According to New Heights Assistant Director Meghan Rice, the entire staff is excited to introduce to youth programs that will “enlighten, encourage and surprise them.”

“We have developed things that are going to be so much fun and yet serve a higher educational purpose at the same time,” she said. “It is very important that we continue to evolve as a resource for schools, parents and youth—and STEAM is where we are going.”

New Heights charges program fees, but offers need-based scholarships and the equipment necessary to participate. To register or learn more about New Heights’ school-year program, visit, or call (603) 422-8235.

December 16th, 2016

Posted In: Latest news

Destination Imagination

Portsmouth, NH–April 7, 2016–After achieving honors for creativity, teamwork and innovation in regional and state academic tournaments, New Heights’ Savage Cabbages team has earned the right to compete in Destination Imagination’s Global Finals, the world’s largest celebration of student creativity, to be held May 25-28 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

They will compete with other teams in the Get a Clue challenge, one of seven, open-ended challenges that require students to apply science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in addition to their talents in improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork, community service and social entrepreneurship.

“I’m just so proud of what the kids accomplished,” said New Heights’ Wayne Moulton, who managed the team. “They worked hard and it paid off.”

Team members are equally excited about the opportunity to compete in the Global Finals

“We are insanely excited,” said 9th Grader Maya Campbell. “The challenge has been really fun this year and I can’t wait to see how much further we can take it.”

9th Grader Elisa Dhanger is equally excited, as she added, “For us to have been picked as the wild card is amazing and I have no doubts that this will be one of the best experiences ever and something I won’t forget or stop taking about.”

This year, 150,000 students have participated in Destination Imagination tournaments throughout the U.S. and 30 countries in hopes of earning a spot at the Global Finals competition in May.

The Savage Cabbages team is among more than 8,000 students representing more than 1,400 teams that will advance to Global Finals, which will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville May 25-28.

“The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination. “Quantitative reasoning, collaborative problem solving, risk taking, collaboration, presentations and thinking on your feet are some of the important skills learned in the program.”

Destination Imagination is a leader in project-based learning opportunities that blend STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education with the arts and social entrepreneurship. Its academic challenges are designed to teach kids how to think, not what to think, and then present their solutions at regional and state tournaments.

Each year, DI competitions begin with a regional tournament where team solutions are assessed by a panel of trained appraisers, ranging from educators to artists to engineers. Each team solution is scored on a variety of elements, including originality, workmanship, presentation and teamwork. Teams with the highest scores advance to the Affiliate (state or country) tournaments. The top-tiered teams from the Affiliate tournaments advance to Global Finals.

Destination Imagination, Inc. dedicates itself to enriching the global community by providing opportunities for learners of all ages to explore and discover using the creative process from imagination to innovation.

For more information about Global Finals, visit To learn more about New Heights, visit

About Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) volunteer-led non-profit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. The most popular education offering is the Challenge Program, where student teams solve open-ended STEM, arts and service learning Challenges and present their solutions to trained Appraisers. Founded in 1982, Destination Imagination has impacted more than 1.5 million students. To learn more, please visit

December 11th, 2016

Posted In: Latest news

barnFundraising event to feature live music and dancing with Jumbo Circus Peanuts, seasonal foods, craft brews and more!

Raising $26,000 last year at the same event, New Heights will again “raise the barn” to support school year programming at this year’s 2nd Annual Barn-Raiser on Saturday, October 15.

In addition to live music and dancing with Jumbo Circus Peanuts, seasonal foods and craft brews, the event will highlight New Heights programs that range from the creative arts to science, math, adventure, food and more. This year’s program at New Heights represents a tangible transition from STEM education to STEAM. While STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, the ‘A’ in STEAM refers to art.

“While a lot of fun, this event serves a very serious purpose as money raised ensures more youth can access our programming, which our evaluation shows has positive outcomes for youth,” said Executive Director Tracey Tucker.

Sponsors for New Heights’ Barn-Raiser include Dos Amigos Burritos, Beswick Engineering, Piscataqua Savings Bank, The Provident Bank, Bavarian Autosport, Novocure, Optima Bank & Trust, Citizens Bank and Performance Food Service.

“We also have a number of in-kind sponsors who have joined us this year,” added Tucker. “This event is a great opportunity to join many like-minded businesses and individuals who all believe in the power and importance of out-of-school youth development.”

Tickets are $50. For more information about the event, which takes place in Portsmouth from 6 pm to 10 pm on Saturday, October 15, visit

December 11th, 2016

Posted In: Latest news

Portsmouth and Exeter, NH—March 11, 2016—Annually serving more than 800 youth and their families across southern NH and southern Maine, New Heights will host “In the Know,” a panel discussion designed for parents, grandparents and others who work with youth.

An ongoing series in which experts in the field weigh in on pressing and relevant societal issues, the next event will focus on “The Adolescent Brain: Words, Actions, and Habits—Communicating with your Developing Adolescent.” Sponsored by Whole Life Health Care in Newington, the event will take place from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday, March 31 at the Portsmouth Public Library and on Thursday, April 7 at Exeter Town Hall.

“This is a chance for parents, caregivers and others to learn how to better connect with teens, who are often very difficult to understand,” said becca Pawling. “The pressures all kids face today are very different from what we experienced. The series provides a forum for meaningful and open discussions.”

Speakers at the Portsmouth discussion will include Mental Health Counselor Tracey Tucker, UNH Professor Erin Sharp, and Chase Home Coordinator Lindsey Ewald. In Exeter, these speakers will be joined by Dr. Laura Rubin, founder of Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center.

There is no cost to attend either panel discussion, which will include refreshments. For more information, visit, or contact

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December 11th, 2016

Posted In: Latest news

Portsmouth, NH—March 9, 2016—The cut-off date to receive a free technical shirt when registering for New Heights’ upcoming 7th Annual St. Paddy’s “April Fool’s” Five Miler has been extended to Monday, March 14.

Proceeds from the race support New Heights, which works with schools and agencies across southern New Hampshire to offer programs for youth, grades 5 through 12, in adventure, arts and culture, and STEM.

“We wanted to extend the cut-off date to entice as many participants as possible,” said Race Organizer Todd Hanson, who also encouraged businesses to sign up for the Pease Corporate Challenge or Open Team Categories. “It’s a great way for businesses to have some fun and support a great cause.”

Returning race sponsors are Paddy’s American Grille, Marshall’s Event Rental, Datarisk, Whole Life Healthcare, Two International, Group, Tradeport Counseling, CGI Business Solutions, Underwood Engineers, Pierce Atwood, and Newmarket International.

The 7th Annual St. Paddy’s “April Fool’s” Five Miler will take place at 10:30 AM on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Paddy’s American Grille at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth. Race perks include food, hot soups and beer to participants (age 21 & up).

Registration is $30 with technical shirts available to all who register by March 14. Race day registration will be available on site. Runners may register until April 2 at, or call (603) 422-8235.

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December 9th, 2016

Posted In: Latest news


Portsmouth, NH—February 5, 2016—With past versions taking place in March with a St. Patrick’s Day theme, New Heights has elected to add April Fool’s Day to this year’s St. Paddy’s  Five Miler on Sunday, April 3, 2016. Noting many participants dress in a variety of costumes, New Heights Executive Director Tracey Tucker said their hope was to not only expand “the opportunities for fun,” but increase the chances for better weather.

“We had several years where we battled with wind and others with snow and rain,” she said. “We felt that by pushing the race back a couple weeks, we could plan for an even better event and attract more people.”

Proceeds from the race support New Heights’ programming, which serves youth in grades 5 through 12. Working in close collaboration with schools and agencies across southern New Hampshire, New Heights offers programs in adventure, arts and culture, and STEM.

While known for providing great food, hot soups and even beer to participants (age 21 & up), the race also caters to families with a race for kids and numerous race perks enjoyed by all ages. The 7th Annual St. Paddy’s “April Fool’s” Five Miler will take place at 10:30 AM on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Paddy’s American Grille at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth.

Registration is $30 with technical shirts available to all who register by March 1., or call (603) 422-8235. For information about New Heights, visit

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December 5th, 2016

Posted In: Latest news

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