Thirty-seven students from North Slope Borough and Hoonah City school districts take the first step towards a STEM career at ANSEP Middle School Academy


ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program is introducing 37 students from North Slope Borough and Hoonah City school districts into its educational pipeline this week through Middle School Academy. Throughout the two-week, residential component held on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, the students will participate in hands-on learning activities designed to spark an early interest in higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

On Thursday, April 11, students will finish assembling their own computers. Each student was challenged to build a computer, and they can keep their brand new computers as long as they stay on track to complete algebra 1 before high school and maintain at least a C average in all math or science courses. This activity is an integral part of the ANSEP curriculum and the first activity students participate in during Middle School Academy.

“Through the computer build and other real-world, hands-on activities, we give these students a glimpse into how they can build a future STEM career,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “We know our program prepares our students for success as they transition into high school and it also underlines the importance of committing to higher education.” Following a collegiate-style application process, 37 students were chosen to participate in the April Middle School Academy. They represent five different Alaska communities:

•Atqasuk: Bernadine Bodfish, Sean Brower, Frances Itta, Rilei Kingik, David Simmonds

•Hoonah: Nakima Budke, RJ Didrickson, Kaida Irvin, Teresa Lewis, Kali Harris-Membreno and Leah Moss

Nuiqsut: Kyle Brower

•Point Lay: Taylor Anniskett, Sabrina Henry, Spencer Itta, Kobe Koonuk, Ezekiel Lane, Marjory Pikok, Raelyn Rexford and Quincy Stalker

•Utqiagvik: Alice Ahnupkana, Harry Ahnupkana, Alexis Edwardsen, Kyra Fischer, Thanyapitcha Inhom, Brianna Kagak, Kayla Kagak, Malachi Nelson, Hailey Philips, Alyicia Segevan, Magdelina Stringer Ramia Swint, Charles Theide, Christopher Moberg-Thompson, Lorraine Toledo, Skye Weyiouanna and Kimberly Wolgemuth

Staying on the UAA campus, participants learned how to live like college students while diving into STEM activities designed to help them understand the available paths for pursuing a career in a STEM field. Their experiences show them how to prepare for a career through higher education and give them the confidence and motivation to pursue it.

By engaging with students at the middle school level, ANSEP is inspiring students to prioritize education and providing them with the resources to succeed in high school, college and beyond. There are currently more than 2,500 students in the ANSEP pipeline and students who stay involved with the program can graduate high school with two years or more of college complete. Learn more about ANSEP and its components at www.ANSEP.net.

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