Jonah Settle

    Wednesday, November 02, 2016

    Wasilla, Alaska

    As a junior in high school, Jonah Settle is already earning credit toward his college degree and is on track to obtain an associate degree before ever enrolling full time at a university. Jonah first learned about the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) when he received a brochure in the mail. From there, he never looked back.

    “I was already pretty interested in STEM when we got this mailer because I really enjoyed math and science,” Jonah said. “I was taking advanced math and science classes, so I thought joining ANSEP would be a good way to grow in those areas.”

    In 2013, Jonah attended his first ANSEP component, the Middle School Academy, where he learned about biology at the Alaska SeaLife Center, built a computer and met world-famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The following year, Jonah constructed windmills during the five-day STEM Career Explorations component before moving onto Acceleration Academy in 2015 and 2016.

    As for his future, Jonah has his sights set on becoming a biomedical engineer with a focus on prosthetics. His passion for the health sciences side of engineering sparked during a class he took his freshman year, when he was assigned a research project about careers in the engineering field.

    “I want to go into the health field as a biomedical engineer to help people,” Jonah said. “I’m looking into the prosthetic side of the field because I think it’s so interesting how we can make prosthetics work with the human body rather than just having them act as an extra part.”

    For those thinking about joining ANSEP or applying for a component, Jonah says it’s well worth it.

    “If you’re considering ANSEP during the summer but think five weeks is too long, just know that the time goes by quickly. There is so much to do and learn in those five weeks!”

    Jonah is currently attending ANSEP’s new Acceleration Academy High School Program at Valley Pathways in Palmer and hopes to attend for an additional year in order to obtain an associate degree before he enters college.