Hundreds of Alaska middle school students gain insight into college and careers through STEM Career Exploration at ANSEP

29-Aug-2017 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – This summer, the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program hosted nearly 200 middle school students from across the state at its four STEM Career Exploration components. The five-day residential components held on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus gave students the opportunity to focus on a particular STEM field of their choice, from marine biology to engineering, while renewing their dedication to ANSEP’s multi-stage model.

The final session of the summer focused on clean energy. Through activities like building high-performance house replicas to testing solar boats, the students gained valuable knowledge about energy costs and the importance of sustainability in Alaska and around the globe. ANSEP staff and industry professionals also led field trips to bio shelters and bio-diesel recycling centers where students saw their labs come to life in a real-world setting.

Forty-eight students from 21 Alaska communities were chosen to participate in ANSEP’s fourth STEM Career Exploration component of the summer, including:

  • Akiachak: Keitha Phillip
  • Anchorage: Talia-Kalei Alaivanu, Malia Batchelder, Daniel Cho, Johnathon Duke, Peter Flannery-Schutt, Riccy George-Love, Makary Kashatok, River Middendorf, Dylan Moore, Tiege O'Brien, Aranea Oliveira, Elizabeth Pedersen, Ethan Roehl, Troy Senoran, Tatiani Vea, Troy Walker, Caralynn Wick and Sean Wiles
  • Bethel: Kayla Beckham and Jordan Fay Wheeler
  • Big Lake: Phoebe Contestabile
  • Brevig Mission: Alaina Nicole Pete
  • Chevak: Tavarluq Boyscout
  • Chugiak: Seth Strange
  • Houston: Hanna Davila
  • Iliamna: Johnna Nanalook
  • Kasilof: Evan Veihdeffer
  • Kenai: Cody McCanna and Shania McCanna
  • Kodiak: Nicholas Dryden II
  • Kotzebue: Brennan Garcia, Zaina Marie McConnell and Kai Whitmore
  • Marshall: Rhianne Isaac and Melanie Landlord
  • Nuiqsut: Aria Brown
  • St. Michael: Marian Horn
  • Sterling: Michal Keyes
  • Unalakleet: Alukka Ivanoff
  • Utqiagvik: Elizabeth Neakok
  • Wasilla: Julie Bernier, Lucas Gallen and Antonio Newton
  • Wrangell: Rowen Wiederspohn

“STEM Career Exploration allows ANSEP students to see first-hand how knowledge they obtain in the classroom is applied in the workforce,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “By focusing on particular topics and interests, our students gain valuable insight into the careers they wish to pursue, all while building a strong network of friends and mentors that can support them throughout their academic journey.”

Like all ANSEP components, STEM Career Exploration aims to inspire students to pursue STEM careers by immersing them in hands-on learning activities alongside their peers and industry professionals. To be eligible, students must have previously completed ANSEP’s Middle School Academy component and maintained grades that adhere to ANSEP’s high academic standards, including being on track to complete algebra 1 before high school. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit