ANSEP hosts first Middle School Academy in partnership with Bering Strait School District

09-Nov-2016 ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Fifty-four students from 14 rural communities in the Bering Strait School District (BSSD) entered the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) pipeline this week as they participated in the program’s November Middle School Academy at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). During the two-week component, they will live like college students while participating in hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities designed to foster enthusiasm for pursing an education and career in these areas.

The November session is the second Middle School Academy of the 2016-17 school year and the first held in partnership with BSSD. Students’ applications were evaluated based on their academic records and essay responses, providing them a chance to get experience submitting a college-like application as early as fifth grade. The students chosen to participate include:
  • Brevig Mission: Anthony Kakoona, Laura Kugznuk, Kelly Tocktoo and Shannon Tocktoo
  • Elim: Nellie Amaktoolik and Fenton Nagaruk
  • Gambell: Nikolai Avalnun and Correy Campbell
  • Golovin: Landon Varga
  • Koyuk: Edward Charles, Harley Huntington, Kayle Kavairlook and Denin Prentice
  • Savoonga: Angel Butler, Cody Okoomealingok-Akeya, Melvin Seppilu and Trisha Waghiyi
  • Shaktoolik: Keenan Jackson, Jaylene Katchatag, Kayleigh Sagoonick and Alexander Sookiayak
  • Shishmaref: Autumn Barr, Amy Eningowuk, Clare Jungers, Rena Kiyutelluk, Frank Ningeulook, Vicki Olana and Ida Weyouianna
  • Stebbins: Jeri Dan, Cameron Pete and Gunnar Pete
  • St. Michael: Cynthia Andrews, Madison Coffey, Marian Horn, Aiden Lockwood, Jasilyn Lockwood, Kayla Nakak and Chelsea Washington
  • Teller: Heather Oquilluk, Rebekah Oquilluk, Desmond Thomas and Kyron Topkok
  • Unalakleet: Mary Arca, Carter Commack, Aryana Ivanoff, Lexi Ivanoff, Mason Ivanoff, Johnathon Katchatag and Aiden Panzer
  • Wales: David Anungazuk and Roxanne Ongtowasruk
  • White Mountain: Harold Brown, Noah Kowchee and Shayla Titus
Students kicked off the week with a computer engineering activity, where they pieced together brand new PC computers. The computers are theirs to keep, provided they stay on track to complete algebra 1 before entering high school. Throughout Middle School Academy, students will participate in other team-based STEM learning activities centered around real-world problem solving at UAA, such as Arctic wall and bridge builds as well as earthquake engineering and science exploration sessions led by industry professionals and ANSEP staff.

“The computer build is an integral part of our Middle School Academy because it teaches students how to engineer an electronic device while ultimately providing them with a tool needed to succeed in their educational careers – a computer,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “We welcome students from the Bering Strait School District into our ANSEP family and are looking forward to inspiring and guiding them along their path to higher education.”

The ANSEP model begins at the middle school level and continues through high school and into college undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. 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 www.ANSEP.net.

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