Project SEARCH

project search students with hands up

Challenging high school students to explore new ideas

Project SEARCH is designed to provide an on-campus, intellectually challenging experience for academically motivated high school students. The program has been in operation since 1983, and the total program enrollment ranges from 200-225 students.

SEARCH's mission is to provide a forum in a college campus setting where high school students from southeastern New Hampshire and southern Maine can experience a series of presentations covering challenging interdisciplinary topics and interact with each other in discussion groups.

  • To foster positive attitudes toward the exploration of new and stimulating ideas through the exposure to presentations and subsequent group meetings through which they can hone their discussion skills.
  • To provide UNH graduate students with the experiential opportunity of developing group leadership and critical thinking skills for teaching intellectually curious students.
  • To encourage a positive spirit regarding the joy of learning through the collaboration of the high schools, their students, future teachers and practicing educators.

Contact Us

Project Search Director, Jessica Bonello

project search group


2023 - 2024 Presentations

09/13/2023 - ropes course at dover high school

09/20/23 - Jennifer moore: founder and co-creator of project upcycyle

Head shot of Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore is the Founder and Co-creator of Project Upcycle, a sustainable fashion competition for emerging designers of New England, and PortSwap, the popular clothing swap that celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019 with over 500 people in attendance. Over the years Jennifer has been a blogger, editor, and magazine contributor around issues of sustainable style. Jennifer is known online as Recovergirl, which she says is a riff on the brand name Covergirl, but with "RE" added to bring to mind -- REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE. 




10/04/23 - robert rivest: mime

Robert Rivest doing presentation

Robert Rivest is the creator and founder of Wellbeing Laughter and The Rivest Method of Joyful Living. He is an internationally admired performer, teacher and public speaker. Robert is a talented mindfulness & stress relief educator, an engaging corporate wellness presenter, a comic mime artist and a gifted laughter yoga master trainer. Since 1990 Robert Rivest has given over 8,000 presentations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and across the United States. His mission is to use mindfulness, laughter and the performing arts to bring greater health, happiness, and joy to individuals and organizations around the world. 

10/25/23 - Eric gonya: climate action nh

Group of Climate Action volunteers cleaning the beach.

To create the momentum necessary to tackle climate change, strengthen our democracy, confront racism, and ensure the long-term health of all communities, The League of Conservation Voters and our state affiliates work to build a powerful and inclusive environmental movement. Through LCV's Climate Action Program, we connect people to solutions. Fighting for urgent climate action requires massive grassroots support. Climate Action NH organizers and volunteers lead meaningful change online and on the ground in their local communities and beyond. We organize at the federal, state and local level including high school and college campuses. With 40% of volunteers under age 35, the program is interconnected with the broader youth climate movement. The Climate Action volunteer program focuses on 1) building and training a base of activists to fight for climate and environmental justice, and 2) developing deep and equitable partnerships with progressive partners, student groups, environmental justice leaders, and justice organizations to strengthen and increase representation in our movement. As we fight for climate action at the local, state and federal levels, we’re continually innovating and training climate activists in the best ways of connecting with their communities online and on the ground. Join us in learning more about our program and ways that we can work together to fight for our future!

11/08/23 - courtney daniel: entrepreneur

Head shot Courtney Daniel

Courtney Daniel is a highly accomplished Executive Virtual Consultant specializing in supporting entrepreneurs to streamline their tasks and cultivate a harmonious administrative environment. With a keen eye for executing impactful product launches, virtual workshops, and branding strategies, Courtney is no stranger to innovation. She thrives on breaking the mold and forging her own path, consistently achieving remarkable results. Her dedication and exceptional relationship-building skills have granted her the privilege of collaborating with renowned industry celebrities. Courtney's passion for design has garnered national acclaim, exemplified by her prestigious recognition from the United States Postal Service for her captivating postage stamp creation. She has also been invited as a guest on esteemed podcasts such as "So Money" with Farnoosh Torabi and "Entrepreneur on Fire” with John Lee Dumas where she shares her invaluable insights and experiences. Furthermore, her work has been prominently featured in reputable publications like Huffington Post, Portsmouth Magazine, 603 Diversity, and various other media outlets. Beyond her professional pursuits, Courtney actively engages with her community, connecting with individuals and sharing their stories through her resource group, No to Patterns™. She also lends her expertise as the Board Vice Chair at WSCA, Portsmouth Community Radio, further amplifying her commitment to fostering meaningful connections and dialogue. In addition to her role as an Executive Virtual Consultant, Courtney is a distinguished TEDx Speaker, TEDx Host, and a passionate advocate for her community. 

12/06/23 - poetry slam: slam free or die

Picture of hands holding a 'Slam Free or Die' flyer

About Slam Free Or Die - Poetry Open Mic & Slam:
Slam Free Or Die is a series of all-ages open mic nights for poets and spoken-word artists every Thursday night, held at Stark Brewing Company in Manchester, NH. There is an open mic every night and poetry slam competitions are also held several times a month. Doors open and sign-ups begin at 7pm with open mic beginning at 8pm. Featured poets and slams follow the open mic. 


12/20/23 - wheeler ruml: artificial intelligence

Wheeler Ruml with red and blue AI machine

Wheeler Ruml is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of New Hampshire, co-founder of the International Symposium on Combinatorial Search, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a Senior Member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research.  His research papers have been cited more than 6,000 times. He received his PhD from Harvard in 2002.  Before joining UNH, he led a team at Xerox's PARC lab that used AI planning techniques to build the world's fastest printer. 




01/24/24 - bill breault: dover chief of police

Head shot - William Breault

Bill Breault has been a police officer with the City of Dover for 25 years and has been the Chief of the department since 2018. During his law enforcement carrier, Bill has held a variety of assignments including commanding the department’s Field Operations Division as well as the Special Investigations Unit where he oversaw complex criminal investigations. Bill has also served as a detective supervisor, patrol sergeant, detective, tactical team member and field training officer.  Additionally, Bill serves as president of Dover Police Charities, president of the Strafford County Chiefs of Police, as a member of the Great Bay Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, a member of the State oversight Commission on Children's Services, as well as the board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness N.H. Bill previously served on the board of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce. Bill and his family live in Dover.

2/7/2024 - Sun moon farm

Craig Jensen in field with bundles of garlic

Craig Jensen works the land at Sun Moon Farm with his wife Megan and their 8 year old son, Fox. Together they grow high quality food for their 100+ member CSA while cultivating a strong community for their customers, their neighbors and all the friends who work with them. Craig's identity as a Quaker Farmer is important to him and the work that he does at Sun Moon Farm has been recognized as a vital ministry by his Quaker Meeting. The values of peace, simplicity and integrity guide many of the decisions that Craig makes on the farm. Sun Moon Farm is known for its heirloom dahlia flowers, weekly potluck dinners, and for growing some of the best garlic in the Monadnock Region. 



3/13/24 - carson jackson: artist

Carson Jackson in tan hat

Carson Jackson is a contemporary abstract artist whose work is a reflection of his life's journey: a treasure hunt of experiences, moments, and images, each lovingly transmuted into his art. His aim is to redefine the visual landscape of his audience, creating unique pieces that challenge conventional interpretive abilities. Largely self taught, with a technique that is ever-evolving and guided by his curiosity and an inclination towards the unusual, Carson’s artworks — often created with mixed media and found objects — resonate with the interplay of darkness and light, illustrating life's trials in a poetry of visual narrative. As the son of a Cuban refugee, he has embarked on an extraordinary journey that has spanned both geography and professionally.

Jackson's travels have taken him from the seaside gardens of Ogunquit, Maine to the fierce El Salvadorian surf, through the Fjords of Norway, and notably during his influential period living in the Outer Banks, where he absorbed techniques and styles from artists worldwide who welcomed him without hesitation and generously shared their knowledge and experience. Beyond art, his decade-long tenure in Interventional Radiology, saving lives and witnessing human resilience, has imbued his work with an empathetic perspective, transforming pain into inspiration. Jackson also worked as a model and artistic director in Central America. These are some experiences that further enhance his artistic sensibilities. Today, his work graces galleries, cafes, and restaurants along the coast of Maine, New Hampshire, and the Outer Banks. The impact of his work can even be felt in surprising corners worldwide, testament to his broad artistic reach.

Current Participating Schools:

New Hampshire Maine
Coe Brown Northwood Academy, Northwood Noble High School, North Berwick
Dover High School, Dover Traip Academy, Kittery
Newmarket High School, Newmarket  
Winnacunnet High School, Hampton  
Epping High School, Epping  
Past presentations and discussions:

The Election 
Poetry Slam
Taiko Drumming
Being Black in Maine
350NH (climate change)


Dreams of the Brain
Gay Marriage
The Art of Mime
Galileo - Living History
Civil Liberites and National Security

Animal Sanctuaries
The Bee Crisis
Herion/Opiate Issue
The Real Science of GMO's