Fifty-two middle school students from across the state build, test and fly drones at ANSEP STEM Career Exploration

15-Jul-2016 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – This week, the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) hosted 52 middle school students from across the state for its second STEM Career Explorations session of the summer. At the five-day residential camp, students studied careers related to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and had the opportunity to work with industry professionals to build, test and fly drones.

The UAV activity is one of ANSEP’s newest hands-on engineering activities designed to foster students’ enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career fields. At the beginning of the week, STEM Career Explorations students were divided into groups and began constructing drones. Once completed, students tested the drones with a friendly competition that required them to operate the UAVs through an indoor obstacle course.

“Each innovative activity our students participate in is aimed at building excitement around STEM career fields while also teaching them the fundamentals of teamwork and problem solving. At ANSEP, students have a chance to apply principles learned in the classroom to hands-on activities like flying drones or building computers. The UAV activity is just one way we’re preparing our students to be successful as future leaders in our state,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder.

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. Students from 12 school districts across Alaska were chosen to participate, including:
  • Anchorage School District: Chantell Adams, Dartagnan Baugh-Daly, Brewster Bohn, Elijah Bowdon, Arthur Ellanna, Clayton Gellerman, Alexander Jones, Alyssa Madsen, Leif Midvag, Dylan Moore, Miyana Moore, Ethan Mostoller, Ava Neck, Carl Odman, Peter Schutt, Dylan Westlake, Caralynn Wick and Hunter Wright
  • Bering Straights School District: Bruce Eakon, Jr.
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough School District: Avram Demientieff and Ezra Hunt 
  • Galena City School District: Ian Esmailka 
  • Juneau School District: Brice Norton 
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough School District: Rosalie Anderson, Gage Baktuit, Michal Keyes, Cameron Plagge and Koda Poulin 
  • Kodiak Island Peninsula School District: Dahlia Berns 
  • Lower Kuskokwim School District: Kayla Beckham, Cassandra Brown, Felicia Daniel, Gracie Davis, Jason Evon, Kacey Igkurak, Alvin Kimoktoak, Haley Sundown, Jordan Wheeler and Greta Whitney 
  • Lower Yukon School District: Amari Akaran, Joseph Cholok, Shyanne Kopanuk and Xavier Smith 
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District: Shaunna Campbell, Kira Fagerstrom, Kozmo Roehl, Sequoia Shangin, Karli Wilkerson and Natalie Yankovic
  • Northwest Arctic Borough School District: Julian Cardenas and Alvin Werneke
  • Southwest Regional School District: Cody McCanna
To be eligible for the component, 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 second in a series of four STEM Career Explorations sessions that will take place this summer, three of which will occur back-to-back this month. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ansep.net.