Sixty-two high school students from across Alaska flock to Anchorage for this summer’s second ANSEP Acceleration Academy session


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – This week, 62 high school students from across Alaska arrived at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) to participate in the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) Acceleration Academy. During this five-week summer session, students earn credit toward a college degree while being immersed in a university setting and learning about career opportunities that exist in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

As part of ANSEP’s innovative curriculum, each week Acceleration Academy students gain hands-on experience through real-world STEM activities led by industry professionals. Team-based STEM learning sessions include:

• Growing biomaterials collected from the Anchorage area in order to test their thermal structural properties.
• Designing a motorcar from materials such as cups, bottle caps and straws then testing designs against other teams.
• Designing and testing a Rube Goldberg Machine.
• Assembling and programing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and competing in a challenge.
• Working with health professionals in telemedicine and physical therapy sessions, emergency room scenarios and traumatic brain injuries, in collaboration with UAA’s Area Health Education Center and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

The 62 students chosen to participate in the all-expenses paid Acceleration Academy include:

Anchorage: Nadia Barcelona, Tremayne Booker, Athena Borstad, Logan Burrough, Elizabeth Castillo, McKenzie Allen-Charmley, Alma Clifton, Joseph R. C. Demientieff, Devun Dioguardi, Evangeline Dooc, Qaiana Fishel, Kane Gillilan, Larissa Hensch, Janessa Joseph, Trevian Joubert, Talos Katrobos, Elijah Kim, Jaida Neck, Patrick Noble, Charles Panigeo, Elizabeth K. Paton, William Paton, Chloe Phillips, Parker Pickett, Bre’Anna Sherman, Elizabeth Ramirez, Victoria Ramirez, Destiny Ropati, Charles Tung, Lenny Urena, Sione Talikavili “Tali” Vea, Heather Werning, Riley Taylor, Jasmine Tenisha Woods and Morgan Zinn

Bethel: Marc Adlaon, Deja Jackson, Andrea Johnson and Mackenzie R.M. Smith

Dot Lake: Chance Shank

Fairbanks: Michael J. Johnson and Keel Simon

Fritz Creek:
Eryn Gillam

Maxwell Dapcevich

Kake: Balin Tyler Lee Parton

Kipnuk: Jawn Carl

Mountain Village:
Dan Kristian Distor

Chelsea Johnson

Harrison Moore, Aidan Osborne, Haley Osborne and Zachary Tozier

Palmer: Taylor Malone, Rowan Porter and Shawn Wilson

Sheldon Point: Naomi Pete

St. Mary’s:
Katie Beans

Tununak: Celina Angaiak

Tommi Crist, Jonah Settle and Emily Stephens

“Students at Acceleration Academy will have access to valuable educational experiences and be able to jumpstart their STEM careers while earning college credit,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “Some students have even left Acceleration Academy having earned all or most of the math and science credits needed for a bachelor’s degree.”

Two, five-week Acceleration Academy sessions are held each year for high school students to develop academic and social skills for college. Students become familiar with navigating the UAA campus and build lasting relationships with their peers who share similar interests and goals. Each summer, these students advance one level or more in math or science at a rate of 95 percent. With nearly 2,000 students in the ANSEP pipeline, the program’s proven model is systematically improving the hiring patterns of Alaska Natives in STEM fields in Alaska. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ANSEP.net.