Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program provides hands-on STEM education at joint Middle School Academy


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program hosted 42 students from the Kenai Peninsula Borough and Lower Kuskokwim school districts at its joint Middle School Academy this February. By igniting an early interest in science, technology, engineering and math, ANSEP Middle School Academy brings science to life. Led by industry professionals, the students used creativity and critical thinking to construct bridges and test their weight-bearing capacity. Students gained real-world insight into science and engineering careers with other interactive activities such as an Arctic wall build, field excursions and earthquake testing.

At the two-week, all-expenses-paid residential component, students experienced living like college students at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. The 42 students chosen to participate in the February Middle School Academy include:
  • Bethel: Aidan Albrite, Allie Alexie, Payton Boney, Emma Charlie, Lauren Chase, Paul Dyment, Elliot Gill, Briana Henry, Kendal Herron, Hannah Howell, Rylee Murphy, Dylan Noes, Jeffrey Pavil II, Laurel “Lulu” Tony, Drini Pellumbi, Joette Alexie, Cassandra Dock, Vjosa Pellumbi, Aaliyah Stevens, Kiera Watson
  • Kenai: Cody Good, Vincent Hensley, Aria Olmsted and Zohni Tiepelman-Sours
  • Kwethluk: Alyssa Mute
  • Napaskiak: Jarelee Egoak, David Fisher, John Stevens and AnnaLayne Ulroan
  • Nikolaevsk: Justin Trail
  • Platinum: Freida James and Audie Samuel
  • Quinhagak: Haley Forbes, Denia Foster and Trisha Merritt
  • Seward: Ethan Williams
  • Soldotna: Marysue Beck, Karley Johnson, Morgan Lemm, Daniel McRorie, Kyla Shane and Logan Shane
ANSEP Middle School Academies are designed to foster enthusiasm for education and careers in STEM to students from across the state. Each academy begins with students building their own computer. As an incentive to continue STEM education, students who remain on track to complete Algebra 1 before high school can keep the computers they built.
“Most students from rural Alaska have never experienced life on a college campus before attending Middle School Academy,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “By exposing students to the college lifestyle at an early age, we’re helping students realize their full potential and setting them on track for a STEM career by preparing them on an academic, social and emotional level.”
By providing access and exposure to STEM education, ANSEP is developing the next generation of industry leaders. With more than 2,500 students in its pipeline and more than 800 undergraduate STEM degrees, ANSEP is creating a brighter future for students, their families and communities.
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