Forty-seven middle school students from 18 Alaska communities build and fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) at ANSEP STEM Career Explorations

01-Jul-2015 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Last week, 47 middle school students from across the state returned to the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus to participate in the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) STEM Career Explorations component. At the five-day residential camp, students studied the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) career field, which provided them with the opportunity of a lifetime to build, test and fly drones while following Federal Aviation Administration safety guidelines.

Led by industry professionals, students participated in several hands-on UAV activities throughout the week, including one of ANSEP’s newest STEM learning projects: constructing unmanned aerial vehicles. At the beginning of the week, students were divided into groups of three and began piecing together the aerial vehicles. Once completed, students tested the drones with a competition that required them to operate it through an indoor course, pick up an object and bring it back to the starting location.

“We’re thrilled to provide our students with an innovative, hands-on activity that provides engineering experience in a developing industry in Alaska,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “The UAV activity is just one way we’re ensuring our students have the tools needed to be successful future leaders in our state.”

ANSEP’s STEM Career Explorations component is designed to help students focus on a particular STEM field and renew their dedication and enthusiasm for the ANSEP community and STEM study. Forty-seven students from 18 communities across Alaska were chosen to participate, including:

  • Aiyana Rich
  • Blake Muehlenkamp
  • Jakob Andreanoff
  • Jaylynda Notti
  • Logan Burrough
  • Nyche' Andrew
  • Riley Taylor
  • Stefani Martinez 
  • Aana Ayagalria
  • Annie Coggins
  • Deja Jackson
  • Lindsey Beans-Polk
  • Simon Snow
Big Lake
  • Jack Ailison
  • Marva McGuffey
  • Jill Jacobs
Hooper Bay
  • Ryavynn Condello
  • Amara Sanguni
  • Maxwell Dapcevich
  • Miranda Paul
  • Trinsten Dock
  • Leisha Lozano
  • Katelyn DelaRosa
  • Tahayla Baker
  • Diane Nicori
Mountain Village
  • Lynnx Beans
Nunam Iqua
  • Mason Canoe
  • Anika McDonough
  • Brandon Drew
  • Claire Robinson
  • Remington Buckley
Pilot Station
  • Devon Heckman
  • Abigail Beaudry
  • Ariel Griffin
  • Daniel Bitler
  • Jacob Nelson-Kainer
  • Lucas Gallen
  • Orion Kutney
  • Rachel Hartman
  • Tommi Crist
  • Troy Straughn

To be eligible for this opportunity, students must have previously completed ANSEP Middle School Academy component and maintained grades that adhere to ANSEP’s academic standards, including being on track to complete algebra 1 before high school. In addition to the academic benefits and career experience gained, students continued to familiarize themselves with the UAA campus and the rigors of college life.

This is the third of four STEM Career Exploration sessions that will take place this summer, and a fourth is planned for later this month. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ansep.net.