Program Details

Group of students putting up an outside wall of a tiny house

Discovery Tracks

Three students on a lake in a homemade cardboard and plastic boat

The TSSI Program Courses begin with a simple premise: Young people have within them the power to change the world. Forging your path of self discovery as you understand who you are—your aptitudes, skills, interests and learning styles—can be most rewarding when applied to activities that are both exciting and fun. At TSSI, we seek to let students follow their instincts and passions into discoveries beyond themselves where the Essential Skills can be best applied and learned from.

TSSI counselors & teachers are dedicated to helping students build their own skill sets with which they will lead others and the tools with which they will navigate the pathways of positive and lasting change.  This awareness emerges from an understanding of where you begin as an individual. Know your strengths and position yourself to use these as you build out your Essential Skills over time. By targeting these skills of the 21st century leader, the TSSI Program builds self-directed learners, confident in their abilities, enthusiastic about their own growth in high school, college and beyond, and eager to engage in the life of their community!

Aerospace and Flight

Learn to fly.

Students will use hands-on, project-based aerospace activities as they use the latest technologies to better understand aviation & flight physics using a mix of hands-on work, speakers, field trips, flight simulation, and orientation flights. Aerospace activities are the vehicle to demonstrate the interrelationships of STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math, to develop an awareness of the variety of careers in the aerospace career field.

Spread your wings.
  • Flight & Pilot Simulators
  • Build-a-Plane/UAV; Model Rocketry
  • Remote control aircraft 
  • Pilot search/rescue & emergency services 
  • Aerospace engineering/manufacturing
  • Air Traffic Control & Meteorology

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

An exploration of AI.

Utilizing the latest technologies in Artificial Intelligence, students enter into the world of engineering and robotics with Arduinos as they wire, build, and code their custom Creator Bots™ and unmanned aerial vehicles. Building and then coding are the goals of this Track, as students program their robot to conquer fun challenges and equip their creations with motors, light, sounds, sensors, claws and more!

Control a robot.
  • Design/Build Mars Rover
  • VEX IQ Robot Competitions
  • Microcontrollers & Sensors
  • Mechanics, Motors and Gearing
  • Programming and Remote Controls
  • Raspberry Pi Coding Kits

Arts with Purpose

A project of theater, dance, music and production.

Our exploration begins with a production that we know and love, and along the way, we learn about all the elements that go into a successful script, blocking, set-design, lighting, music, choreography, and directing. Following our initial performance, our students design their next initiative here at the TSSI that dives more deeply into their passion.

Work with OneLight Theatre, Inc. and perform with a purpose. Tell your story to the world.

Showcase your talents
  • Have a script idea for a one-act play?
  • Want to learn the nuances of set-design and lighting?
  • Have costume design ideas?
  • Explore how to incorporate dance or music into a show.

Cinematography and Videography

A message of ACTION.

Let your imagination soar and then show the world what you can produce. Learn and understand camera movement and vocabulary; how to ‘hook’ your target audience watching out for production pitfalls; define your characters, and leave your audience impacted. Explore scriptwriting, video and sound recording, acting, lighting, art direction ,and editing. 

Collect your videos & photos, then immerse in our Apple computer lab, shoot on a green screen, edit in top-of-the-line software, and post your work on your customized website. Learn what it takes to work as a professional videographer. Our expert staff will guide you to making your creative dreams a reality with the quality work to prove it.

Use your imagination.
  • Create a commercial for your new adventure or product.
  • Tell a story that has purpose and impact.
  • Produce a TV Show.
  • Put your creation to music & video for stunning effect.

Design-Build: Village of the Future

The smart house works its magic.

Cities and communities of the future will combine new materials, consume fewer resources, and be mobile like never before. 

Learn what the most progressive communities are doing on this front, then apply what works well to what your  Village of the Future. Learn to communicate your visions into a CAD system, print models in 3D, scale up the most interesting parts to a full-size model and build out your vision as your project for the summer. Compete with fellow designers for the most insightful aspects of your village, and combine your works. 

Create a vessel
  • Construction Engineering/CAD - Tabletop models to full-size build-outs
  • The Village of the Future - Design/Measure/Build
  • Multi-Function Vehicles - Vessel & Car in One: Design, Build, and Operate
  • The Science of Sport - Superhuman Design and Build Futuristic Machines

Sustainable Planet

Farming for the future and culinary culture.

As our population approaches 8 billion people, our rising generations will be tasked with harvesting, feeding, and clothing on a scale unimagined in recent past. Sustainable Planet takes an inside look at the farms of today and how they will need to change to meet the demands of the future. 

Visit our partner farms to explore plant-based systems, the equipment they use, how animals fit in. Look at revolutionary new ways to feed our world and how technology can help.

Explore the possibilities.
  • Research hydroponic garden systems.
  • Design a smart irrigation device for greenhouse farmers.
  • Analyze a smart fish pond management system.
  • Discover the role technology plays to increase yields & productivity.
  • Examine how we can make resources available to everyone–environmental equality?

Add Ons

Does your student need more help or practice in a specific academic area? We have that too! Check out our optional add on classes.

See add ons

Outdoor adventures

Group of people rock climbing outside

Outdoor experiences in New Hampshire are an ideal way to add to your adventures here at the TSSI. Here is where you will try new experiences that stretch one’s comfort zone, challenge yourself mentally and physically, help friends reach their goals, and enjoy the countryside while having fun.

  • Adventure challenge courses - zip lines and climbing walls to push your limits

  • Canoeing, camping, biking, and hiking - fun in the outdoors

  • Design and hands-on building - real-life skills you can use

  • Service to community and self - Join a team = make a difference = leave a legacy

Collaborative partnerships

Groups of students driving robotic cars inside

In an increasingly global world environment it is valuable that one learns how to forge, and leverage, Collaborative Partnerships with others. Through service projects and strategic partnerships both on and off campus, Tilton School Summer Institute will afford students the opportunity to grow and develop essential skills that lie at the heart of creativity, innovation, and self-discovery.

At TSSI, we are building sustainable connections and valued partnerships with a variety of organizations who afford program participants the vision towards future goals.

Potential partners
  • Local and regional service organizations
  • Massachusett Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Dartmouth Engineering
  • General Electric (GE) R&D Center
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University

Residential living

Living away from home for three weeks is a hidden gem of the self-exploration journey. It is where you appreciate and create the deeper relationships with peers and adults that intentionally strengthen communities and the larger society. Students will live with their peers in on-campus dormitories where they will get the opportunity to form lifelong friendships.

The safety of our students is our primary concern and our community in New Hampshire is among the safest. Tilton School’s self-contained campus provides a safe living environment for program participants to explore new friendships, cultural experiences, and independence all under the watchful eye of Tilton staff and upper-class mentors. Afternoons and evenings provide time to explore other interests, like sports, music, and culture. Whether its a picnic on the quad lawn or a family-style dinner in our commons, this time helps strike a healthy balance between work and fun.

In the Student Center
Pool Table
Snack Bar

Fisher Cats Baseball Games; Sky Zone Indoor Gym; Campfires; DQ; Karaoke; Talent Night; OneLight Theater Performances; Mini-golf; Bowling; Puzzle Night; Black & Gold games

Device Free Zones

Technology plays such an integral part of our everyday lives, that it can easily slip into the realm of dominating our time robbing us of the opportunities to interact with people and action around us. TSSI employs a philosophy of helping students identify when and where devices make our lives easier, more fruitful, and enjoyable. Work that is hands-on seldom needs devices unless they are driving the work, so exploring when to be on a device and when not to are life skills we teach.