Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program hosts students from three rural school districts at its first Middle School Academy of 2016

20-Jan-2016 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – This month, middle school students from three school districts in the Lower Yukon area will converge in Anchorage at the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program’s (ANSEP) first Middle School Academy of the year. The students arrived at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) on Jan. 19, and dove head first into hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning activities designed to foster enthusiasm for pursuing an education in these career areas.

The January session is one of six Middle School Academies taking place during the 2015-2016 school year. The attending middle school students are from 10 schools across three school districts in the Lower Yukon area. They include:

Kashunamiut School District
  • Aaliyah Paniyak-Hill
  • Dove Boyscout
  • John Pingayak
  • Joseph Johnson
  • Maria Smith
  • Maysa Brown
  • Michael Hill
  • Precious Tuluk
  • Skye Stone

Lower Yukon School District
  • Adam Kaganak
  • Amari Akaran
  • Amy Simon
  • Ashley Agwiak
  • Brianna Edwards
  • Bryce Jimmie
  • Charlene Redfox
  • Cooper Moen
  • Cy Charlie
  • Denise Uttereyuk
  • Emiran Mike
  • Haley Oktoyak
  • Haley Long
  • Jocelyn Alexie
  • Joseph Cholok
  • Joshua Kameroff
  • Kayla Joe
  • Kaylee Simon
  • Kursten Wilde
  • Kyan Paul
  • Laura Peterson
  • Luke Isaac
  • Mackenzie Shelden
  • Madison Ramoth
  • Melanie Landlord
  • Morris Teelak, Jr.
  • Nastasia Edwards
  • Niko Afcan
  • Patrick Fitka
  • Rhianne Isaac
  • Sabel McIlvoy
  • Shyanne Kopanuk
  • Terri Sage

St. Mary’s School District
  • Ana Joe
  • Travis Hatch

Throughout the two-week, all-expenses-paid component, students will take part in a college-style learning experience at UAA while participating in many challenges and team-based learning activities, ranging from computer and bridge builds to earthquake engineering and science exploration sessions led by industry professionals and ANSEP staff. On Friday, Jan. 22, students will participate in a new interactive energy activity. Throughout the morning, students will design and build a model Arctic wall that they will test for heat loss, ultimately learning the role insulation plays in energy-efficient buildings.

“We’re always looking for fun and innovative ways to get young Alaskan students excited about STEM careers while exposing them to problems that exist in the real world,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “Reaching students at a young age puts them on track for STEM degrees, ahead of their peers, so that they are socially and academically prepared for college upon arrival.”

The ANSEP model begins at the middle school level and continues through high school and into college undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. A key component of the program, the Middle School Academy inspires young students to become involved in science and engineering early in their educational careers and keeps them on track to compete algebra 1 before high school. More than 77 percent of Middle School Academy students complete algebra 1 before entering high school. Nationally, that number is 26 percent.

To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit