NH Academy of Science becomes first approved Learn Everywhere program

On Thursday, December 10, 2020, the NH State Board of Education approved the state’s first Learn Everywhere program, the New Hampshire Academy of Science (NHAS), to offer four science courses for high school credit. The NHAS, which has facilities in Lyme, is an independent nonprofit that offers science-based programs to youth, and access to professional-grade laboratory equipment through their STEM Lab and equipment loan program. The NHAS has been approved to offer courses in Biology Research, Chemistry Research, Physics Research, and AP Biology. 

Students at NHAS complete course lessons, work with mentors to complete a research project, and present their research to a panel of scientists. Some students have the opportunity to present their research at national AAAS events and peer-reviewed journals. 

NHAS offers a variety of programs, including summer courses, after-school programs, and science lessons. It is unclear which programs would fall under the NHAS’s Learn Everywhere approval, or if they would administer wholly new programs. 

NHAS also works with local high schools to offer Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs), which allow students to earn class credit and meet learning competencies through personalized experiences that often take place outside of the classroom. Before the pandemic, all public high schools were required to offer ELO programs, and nearly 7,000 students statewide participated in one in the 2019 school year. 

The application did not note whether there would be a cost to the program to students and their families. However, existing programs range from $600 to $3,000 per course.

About Learn Everywhere

The NH Department of Education’s Learn Everywhere program went into effect in August, following nearly two years of “overwhelming” public opposition and a final objection from the state’s administrative rules committee. 

According to the rules, public high schools — including charter schools — are required to award credit for courses taken through Learn Everywhere programs, even for core courses like math, language arts, and science. There is no requirement that the Learn Everywhere program meet the rigor or competencies of the local school.