House Bill 278 provides ANSEP with $6 million in grant funds, largest in program’s history


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) is offering eight additional Middle School Academies annually as a result of the $6 million grant afforded through the recent passage of House Bill 278. The grant will be distributed in increments of $2 million per year starting this year. This is the single-largest grant in ANSEP’s 20-year history. This funding will support 12 Middle School Academies per year, resulting in 650 Alaskan middle school student participants each year. Gov. Sean Parnell signed H.B. 278 into law on May 14, 2014.

Middle School Academies are residential science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences designed to immerse students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades in the career opportunities that exist in these areas. Activities are led by industry professionals with real-world experience in engineering and science.

The ANSEP Middle School Academy, founded in 2010, has hosted students, representing nearly 100 communities all across Alaska. The component accepts 54 students per Academy. ANSEP is focused on developing partnerships directly with school districts in order to offer this program free of charge to all students.

“We’re proud to offer more Alaska students the resources and opportunities they need to enrich their educational experiences through participation in Middle School Academies,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “By completing ANSEP components every student in the State is on track to earn the Alaska Performance Scholarship regardless of where they live. Our students arrive at the university academically and socially prepared for college success.”

The Middle School Academy is just one component of ANSEP, which strives to promote STEM while encouraging historically underrepresented students to pursue careers in science and engineering at an early age. Middle School Academy students are encouraged to return to ANSEP throughout their middle school and high school careers and into college, bringing more Alaska students into these growing fields.

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