Fifty-one middle school students from across Alaska dive into engineering and programming with ANSEP STEM Career Exploration component

19-Jun-2017 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Last week, 51 middle school students from across the state returned to the University of Alaska Anchorage campus to participate in the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program’s STEM Career Exploration component. At the five-day residential camp, students studied the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) career field by participating in several hands-on activities, including ANSEP’s STEM learning project: building and testing unmanned aircrafts.

Led by UAV industry professionals and made possible through a partnership with K2 Dronotics, the activity divided students into groups to construct a model aircraft. At the end of the week, students tested the drones with a competition that required them to operate the drone through an indoor course in a specified amount of time.

“Our ultimate goal at ANSEP is to grow Alaska’s future leaders, and we’re always looking for innovative ways to inspire young Alaskans to pursue science and engineering degrees,“ said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “The UAV activity allows ANSEP students to get hands-on engineering experience while learning about a developing industry.”

STEM Career Exploration is deigned to help students focus on a particular STEM field and renew their dedication to the ANSEP community and their studies. There were 14 communities represented by the 51 students chosen to participate, including:

Anchorage: Caleb Asselin, Grace Asselin, Zebastian Barr, Tyler Benton, Andre Bergerson, Justice Bolter, Naomi Brown, Robert "Rowan" Kahklen, Daniel Calvin, Marissa Crabtree, Cedric Deacon, Josia Dejnozka, Jayden Douglas, Nathan Fossler, Keyshon Frost, Charla Garcia, Peter Griggs, Eden Hopson, Katelynn Houser, Megan Kibbee, Carmen Marrs, Isaiah McPherson, Anne Miller, Daveon Parton, Renon Racy-Shields, Juliann Shugak, MacKenzie Tracey and Jesse Tutiakoff

  • Chevak: Maria Smith
  • Chugiak: Shandiin Weldell
  • Cooper Landing: Lauren Reger
  • Kodiak: Shawn Case, Mari Hansell and Torikay Paddock
  • Kongiganak: Jonathan Otto
  • Kotlik: Emiran Mike
  • Kotzebue: Grace Franklin and Dawson Schaeffer 
  • Nunapitchuk: Caden Sallison, Devonte Sallison and Sinka Enoch
  • Palmer: Aiyana Phillips
  • Petersburg: Jayden Perry
  • Shungnak: Jade Tickett
  • Soldotna: Blaine Hayes
  • Unalakleet: Carter Commack, Victoria Fisher, Aryana Ivanoff and Lauryn Jones

To be eligible for STEM Career Exploration, students must have previously completed ANSEP Middle School Academy 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 education benefits and career experience gained, students continued to familiarize themselves with the UAA campus and the rigors of college life.

This is the second of four STEM Career Exploration sessions that will take place this summer. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ansep.net.