Anchorage School District students build computers, stronger futures alongside 90 educators from across the U.S. at ANSEP Middle School Academy


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program is kicking off its 23rd year by hosting 54 Anchorage School District students for Middle School Academy as well as sharing the program’s proven methods with leaders visiting from education groups across the U.S. as part of its inaugural Dissemination Conference. Students and conference attendees arrived at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus today, and they have already begun being immersed in ANSEP’s curriculum through hands-on STEM activities and innovative learning experiences.

During the four-day Dissemination Conference, 90 leading educators from nine regions across the nation will learn about ANSEP’s strategies and methods for improving the hiring patterns of minority students in science and engineering fields, with the goal of leading efforts to implement these strategies within their local communities. Today, attendees had the opportunity to experience the program’s innovative curriculum first-hand, by assembling PC computers guided by students attending ANSEP’s January Middle School Academy.

“Our goal is to send conference attendees home with a blueprint for building success in their region, and one of the easiest ways to demonstrate how we foster enthusiasm for STEM careers is through our computer build activity,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “An integral part of our program, the computer build is one of the first activities students participate in when they join the ANSEP program, and we couldn’t think of a better way to introduce our visitors to the program than immersing them in the same hands-on activities that are inspiring Alaska’s future leaders to pursue STEM careers.”

Students participating in the all-expenses-paid Middle School Academy are from 26 schools within the Anchorage School District:

  • Alaska Native Cultural Charter School: Stephen Holmstock, Sydney Lewis and Anya Tyrell         
  • Bear Valley Elementary School: Sophia York and Samuel York
  • Begich Middle School: Mariah Andrews, Dolan Lewis, Sandia Whalen and Zack Zilles
  • Central Middle School: Angel Ambrose, Taylor Demientieff, Terrence Long II, Journey Reeves and Adrian Rice
  • Clark Middle School: Dianna Chuitt, Dakota Mobeck and Dustin Moses
  • College Gate Elementary School: Jade Myhre
  • Family Partnership Charter School: Aliya Hanson
  • Gladyswood Elementary School: Evan Meyer
  • Goldenview Middle School: Deloris Nevzoroff
  • Gruening Middle School: Joshua Burkhart, Michael Dunn, Jack Molloy, Hadyn Pollard and Julian Tunley
  • Hanshew Middle School: Madison Andrew and Samuel Corbin
  • Kasuun Elementary School: Marcus Duruin
  • Lakehood Elementary School: Connor Bihag and Simone Iloilo III
  • Mears Middle School: Delaney Fagerstrom, Katie Grinaker, Maria Maly and Halle Nelson
  • Rabbit Creek Elementary School: Kaleb Robustellini and Declan Herndon
  • Ravenwood Elementary School: Chuy Tumbloo
  • Rogers Park Elementary School: Meredith Duhrsen and Marcella Williams
  • Romig Middle School: David Fetter Jr. and Lynette Larsen
  • Sand Lake Elementary School: Raven Anaruk and Cynthia Smith
  • Spring Hill Elementary School: Declan Williams
  • STrEaM Academy: Leah Weiss
  • Trailside Elementary School: Holly Davis and Russell Dushkin Jr.
  • Tudor Elementary School: Easton Smith
  • Turnagain Elementary School: Joy Shein and Vincent Shein
  • Wendler Middle School: Kalynn Broberg, Matthew Dennis and Virgina Lestonkoff

Middle School Academy not only provides a glimpse into STEM careers, it promotes an attitude of college readiness and helps students become familiar with the rigors of college life at an early age. Throughout the two-week component, students will live on campus while participating in team-based learning activities that solve real-world problems, ranging from building earthquake-safe towers to energy-efficient Arctic walls. They will also have the unique opportunity to attend ANSEP’s 23rd annual Celebration alongside Dissemination Conference attendees, students, alumni, partners and supporters.

The ANSEP Dissemination Conference is being held with generous support from the National Science Foundation. The ANSEP model begins at the middle school level and continues through high school and into college undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. Since its inception in 1995, ANSEP has helped guide 800 Alaska Native students to baccalaureate degrees. With more than 2,500 students from sixth grade through the Ph.D. in the pipeline, ANSEP is transforming education across the state.

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