Middle school students build Rube Goldberg Machines, design solar boats at ANSEP STEM Career Explorations sessions

27-Jul-2016 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) recently hosted more than 100 middle school students from across the state for its third and fourth STEM Career Explorations components. Following two earlier summer sessions devoted to health sciences and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), the third STEM Career Explorations component focused on engineering and the fourth on energy.

For both sessions, students flocked to the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) where they lived on campus and dove into a particular STEM field of interest and experienced hands-on activities. During the engineering session, students participated in a Rube Goldberg activity led by STEM industry professionals where they were divided into teams and tasked with designing a Rube Goldberg Machine, an activity based off of the official Rube Goldberg website. Whereas the energy component allowed students to work with solar and wind energy by designing and testing solar boats, calculating efficiency and even venturing to the Alaskan Bioshelter in Eagle River, Senior Village Housing Complex and the methane gas power plant.

“Through these hands-on activities, we get these students excited about careers in the science, technology, engineering and math industry while promoting educational growth and teamwork,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “At ANSEP, students have the opportunity to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world problems.”

Students from 16 different school districts across Alaska were chosen to participate in the last two sessions, including:

STEM Career Explorations 3 – Engineering
  • Alaska Gateway School District: Richard Charlie, Jr.
  • Anchorage School District: Kristopher Anaruk, Kyle Anrew, Karen Bigshield, Jaheim Fuqua, Kaitlan Knox, Tyanna Melak, Daveon Parton, Kimberly Ray and Amirah Wright
  • Bering Straights School District: Payton Commack and Lauryn Jones 
  • Dillingham City School District: Sawyer Sands
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough School District: Savannah Eberhard, Alexandra Juliussen, Chelsea Plagge and Kristianna Standifer
  • Lower Kuskokwim School District: Jeremy Aloysius, Andrew Bavilla, Ryann Beaver, Lauren David, Chiara Demientieff, Alexie Evan and Miranda Paul
  • Lower Yukon School District: Lynnx Beans, Patrick Fitka, Marcus Hale, Devon Heckman, Rhianne Isaac, Bryce Jimmie, Adam Kaganak, Cooper Moen, Fredrick Myers, Kyan Paul, Madison Ramoth and Amy Simon
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District: Remington Buckley, Justine DeBuse, Caleb Docherty, Laureta Kochuten and Isaiah Shangin
  • Northwest Arctic Borough School District: Ayiana Browning, Brian Stalker and Kelly Thomas
  • Petersburg City School District: Jaden Perry
  • Southwest Regional School District: Jaden Frost
  • St. Mary’s City School District: Ronald Alstrom-Beans and Justina Peterson
STEM Career Explorations 4 – Energy
  • Anchorage School District: Nyche Andrew, Savannah Armstrong, Malcolm Bosse, Brady Burrough, Daniel Camp, Salu Fosi, Nate Fossler, Vivian Garcia, Landon Gumlickpuk, Louis Hanna, Alandra Jones, Tava Kairaiuak, Aleric Kompkoff-Anderson, Octavius McCleskey, Thomas Oates, Kenneth Octuk, Starlyn Phillips, Renon Racy-Shields, Lauren Reger, Eric Suggs, Jr., Cadence Tunuchuk, Maya Vinson, Audrey Williams and Austin Woods
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough School District: Kyle VanHatten
  • Galena City School District: Jade Tickett
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough School District: Erika Eberhard, Evan Evans, Lexi Gridley and Aphanasia Kvasnikoff
  • Lower Kuskokwim School District: Noah Andrew III, Aana Ayagalria, Andrew Bavilla, Lindsey Beans-Polk, Joeli Carlson and Adeline Dyment
  • Lower Yukon School District: Kenzie Long
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District: Julie Bernier, Ronald Bernier III, Kai Dixon, Rylee Olympic, Scott Peterson, Alyana Phillips, Tabea Shepler, Shania Sommer and Grace Straughn
  • Northwest Arctic Borough School District: Stephanie Eakin
  • St. Mary’s City School District: Ayden Alstrom-Beans
  • Valdez City Schools: Lucienne Selanoff
To be eligible for the component, students must have previously completed ANSEP Middle School Academy and maintained grades that adhere to ANSEP’s academic standards, including being on track to complete algebra 1 before high school.

To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ansep.net.