Fifty-seven high school students from 21 Alaska communities build and fly unmanned aerial vehicles at ANSEP Acceleration Academy

17-Jul-2015 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Fifty-seven high school students from across Alaska recently arrived at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus 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 and learn about career opportunities that exist in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Today, students were given the opportunity of a lifetime to build, test and fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) while following Federal Aviation Administration safety guidelines.

ANSEP’s UAV activity is part of an innovative curriculum designed to inspire students to stay in Alaska and pursue STEM degrees. Each week of the Acceleration Academy, students gain hands-on learning experience in a different STEM career field during activities led by industry professionals. Team-based learning activities range from building biomaterials and earthquake-safe structures to outbreak response and carbon fiber training sessions.

“This new UAV activity is a rare opportunity for our students to get hands-on experience in an emerging industry, and we’re pleased with the positive response we’ve gotten from the students as well as instructors,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “The goal of Acceleration Academy is to develop students academically and socially for college while fostering their interest in industries that are crucial to Alaska’s future, and the UAV activity is just one way we’re doing that this summer.”

The 57 students from 21 Alaska communities who were accepted into the all-expenses-paid academy due to their ongoing commitment to academic success include:

· Aksiin Storer

· Alexander Schuerch

· Athena Borstad

· Bryan Mikail Jacob

· Charitie Ropati

· Charles Panigeo

· Charles Tung

· Destiny Ropati

· Devun Dioguardi

· Eleanor Yukino Lee

· Elizabeth Castillo

· Evangeline Dooc

· Gary Hoppenworth

· Heather Werning

· Janessa Joseph

· Jasmine Woods

· Kaitlyn Theonnes

· Konaa Tallman

· Marielle Medina

· McKenzie Allen-Charmley

· Oriana Hazelton

· Parker Pickett

· Serina Wesen

· Sophia Thompson

· Tremayne Booker

· Zachary Montoya

· Andrea Emory Ann Johnson

· Brittney Marie Boney

· Ethan Blevins

· Kyle Wesley Jones

· Ryan Smith

· Wendy Wade

· Sadie Selena Sands

· Sue J. Lee

Eagle River
· Aaron Koppenberg

· Jules Mermelstein

Fritz Creek
· Eryn Gillam

· Joshua Quinto

· Mollie Rose Fisher

· Lisa Krol

· Kristopher Hill-McLaughlin

· Margaret-Grace Betz

· Colton Ulroan

· Brayden Bahnke

· Shannon Ongtowasruk

· Emily Stephens

· Rowan Porter

· Sidney Cleveland

· Esau Sinnok

· Alexa Gray

· Henrique H. O. Miller

· Cameron Azimi-Tabriz

· Jackson B. Peters

· Justin Hanson

White Mountain
· Diane Lincoln


· James (Logan) Mabry

Acceleration Academy students advance one level or more in math or science each summer at a rate of 95 percent. Students benefit from a college residential experience, peer socialization and college scholarships to reward completion. Additionally, students become familiar with the UAA campus and build lasting relationships with youth who share similar interests and goals.

ANSEP’s longitudinal model begins at the middle school level and continues through high school and into college undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. ANSEP students at every level are successful at rates far exceeding national numbers. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ansep.net.