Middle school students from 20 Alaska communities study unmanned aerial vehicles at ANSEP STEM Career Explorations


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Last week, 48 middle school students from across the state returned to the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus to participate in the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) STEM Career Explorations component. At the five-day residential camp, students studied the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) career field by participating in several hands-on activities, including ANSEP’s newest STEM learning project: building and testing unmanned aircrafts.


Led by UAV industry professionals, students divided into groups of three and constructed a model aircraft. At the end of the week, students tested the drones with a competition that required them to operate the drone through an indoor course, pick up an object and bring it back to the starting location.


“We’re always looking for innovative ways to inspire young Alaskans to pursue science and engineering degrees,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “The new UAV activity allows ANSEP students at all levels to get hands-on engineering experience while learning about a developing industry in Alaska.”


The STEM Career Explorations component is deigned to help students focus on a particular STEM field and renew their dedication and enthusiasm for the ANSEP community and STEM study. Not all students provided media release forms so not all names are included. Forty-eight students from 20 communities across Alaska were chosen to participate, including:


·       Baahii Tallmanun

·       Bre'Anna Sherman

·       Ronald Bernier, III


·       Ulric Aloysius


·       Cameron Blevins

·       Chelonia Jones

·       Sydney Gray


·       Ajey Moses


·       Alisha Waska

·       Pius Hoover, II


·       Daylynn Yenney

Hooper Bay

·       Marcus Hale


·       Brice Norton


·       Cherilyn Dock

·       Emira Aliralria

·       Phillip Paul


·       Halle Beaver

·       Kirsi Beaver

·       Isadore David

·       Minnie Azean


·       Trisha Savetilik


·       Erich Foster

·       Levi Farris

·       Lucas Morton

·       Trevor Kroening


·       Adrienne Sam

Russian Mission

·       Mason Wigley

Scammon Bay

·       Louis Kasayuli


·       Keeley Withrow

·       Sorin Sorensen

St. Mary’s

·       Ayden Alstrom-Beans

·       Ronald Alstrom-Beans


·       Alliyah Nay

·       Azadeh Azimi-Tabrizi

·       Benjamin Howard

·       Gavynn Carle

·       Grace Straughn

·       Jakob Murray

·       Julie Bernier

·       Justine DeBuse

·       Shania Sommer

·       Tia Richard

To be eligible for the component, students must have previously completed ANSEP Middle School Academy component and maintained grades that adhere to ANSEP’s academic standards, including being on track to complete Algebra 1 before high school. In addition to the education benefits and career experience gained, students continued to familiarize themselves with the UAA campus and the rigors of college life.

This is the second of four STEM Career Exploration sessions that will take place this summer. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ansep.net.