Many people refer to Alaska as the Last Frontier, but Deya Tallman, an Athabascan from Anchorage, dreams of exploring the Final Frontier. He may only be 13, but he’s already reaching for the stars and beyond with his STEM career plans. Deya’s favorite subject in school has always been math, and he hopes to put his math skills to use as an astronaut or astronomer when he is older.
“My dream is to go to space someday,” said Deya. “I’m fascinated by space exploration, the vastness of it and how much there still is to learn.”
With the support of ANSEP, Deya’s STEM education is on the fast track. He first became involved with ANSEP in sixth grade when he attended Middle School Academy. He returned the following summer to ANSEP for the marine biology STEM Career Exploration, and this year he came back for a STEM Career Exploration session focused on health sciences.
“I initially heard about ANSEP from my oldest sister who attended Middle School Academy several years ago,” said Deya. “Then my older brothers both participated in ANSEP components as well. After hearing their stories about how fun the program was, I couldn’t wait to attend my first Middle School Academy.”
At Middle School Academy, Deya built a computer, which he still uses to study for school. He also uses it to research astrology and space in his spare time. Although he has enjoyed all the ANSEP components, his favorite so far was the marine biology STEM Career Exploration.
“We went on boat excursions to beaches where we tested the waters and observed wildlife. We also got to dissect different animals and learn about how their bodies work,” said Deya.
Deya enjoys the hands-on, innovative curriculum ANSEP offers, and he plans to stay involved throughout high school so he can attend Acceleration Academy and Summer Bridge. As much as Deya loves the scientific activities at ANSEP, his favorite thing about the program is the people. Through the different components, he has made friends from all across Alaska with many different backgrounds who all have one thing in common: a passion for STEM education.
“I’ve already learned so much through ANSEP. I’ve made friends and met mentors who inspire me every day,” said Deya. “Thanks to ANSEP, I will be prepared and on track for a STEM career!”
With the help of ANSEP, more than 2,500 students from across Alaska are chasing their dreams of becoming astronauts, scientists and engineers! Click here to learn more about how to get involved with ANSEP.