Middle school students from 15 Alaska communities return to ANSEP for hands-on learning and to explore health science career field

25-May-2017 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – This week, the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program welcomed more than 50 middle school students to the University of Alaska Anchorage campus for its first STEM Career Exploration component of the summer. During this five-day residential camp, students will explore the health sciences career field by participating in several hands-on activities led by 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. In addition to the educational benefits, STEM Career Exploration gives students a chance to continue familiarizing themselves with the UAA campus and the rigors of college life as well as interact with like-minded peers from around Alaska. Students from 15 communities across Alaska were chosen to participate, including:

  • Akiachak: Tyler Charles
  • Anchorage: Chantell Adams, Omar Adegbola, Danaysia Craggette, Vernadette Fernandez-Alexie, Andrew Gebert, Courtney Hoelscher, Jessica Martinez, Puataunofo Ropati, Kaydence Sara, Dylan Westlake and Audrey Williams
  • Bethel: Hayden Carlson, Rosemary Chakuchin, Gracie Davis, Kallie Grace Qerrataralria Andrew, Anson Jimmie, Alyssa Motgin, Cheyenne Murphy, Randy Turner Jr. and Greta Rose Whitney
  • Brevig Mission: Laura Ann Kugzruk, Kelly Tocktoo and Shannon Tocktoo
  • Galena: Paytyn Cleaver and Ian Esmailka
  • Golovin: Landon Varga
  • Hooper Bay: Ravynn Condello
  • Kenai: Hermoine Lanfear
  • Kongiganak: Lora Crosley and Sarah Lupie
  • Kotlik: Amari Akaran
  • Kotzebue: Frank Beecroft
  • Palmer: Anna Bell, Michael Hill and Nathaniel Hill
  • Pilot Station: Emily Harry and Devon Heckman
  • Scammon Bay: Joseph Cholok and Madison Ramoth
  • St. Mary’s: Ana Joe
  • Stebbins: Jeri Dan and Cameron Pete
  • Unalakleet: Mary Arca and Emmanuel Mittelhoelzer
  • Wasilla: Gavynn Carle

STEM Career Explorations is designed to help students focus on a particular STEM field that interests them and renew their dedication to and enthusiasm for the ANSEP community and pursuit of a degree and career in STEM. Students who participated in the health sciences STEM Career Explorations this week experienced a variety of hands-on activities, from dental health simulations to a heart dissection.

“At ANSEP, our goal is to inspire students to pursue their dreams and ensure they have the educational tools needed to achieve them,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “In addition to providing outstanding learning opportunities, STEM Career Exploration is important for students as they build their support network. All of them have already participated in ANSEP’s Middle School Academy, and a big benefit of STEM Career Explorations is the chance for them to reconnect with friends and mentors who are part of the ANSEP community.”

This is the first of four STEM Career Exploration sessions that will take place this summer thanks to generous donations from ANSEP’s strategic partners, including its most recent $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit