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Summer STEM opportunities in Alaska

April 15, 2019

Get ahead academically with summer programs

 School may still be in session, but it is never too early to start making plans for summer vacation. Just because students aren’t in class doesn’t mean they should stop learning. Summer is the perfect time to take an extra class, dive deeper into an interesting subject or attend educational summer camps.

The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program offers year-round opportunities for students to engage with STEM education. From middle school to high school to the university level and all the way through doctoral programs, ANSEP helps students make the most of summer break. The best part about ANSEP’s summertime activities is that they are all free to students and parents.

Check out the ANSEP summer STEM opportunities:

Middle School Academy
At Middle School Academy, students live in dorms on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus and work alongside like-minded peers. Making new friends and participating in hands-on STEM activities are just a couple parts of the introductory component that gets students excited about their future. It sparks an interest in careers as scientists, doctors, engineers and more.

Computer builds are always a student-favorite, and it’s how we kick off all our Middle School Academies. An added bonus is that students get to keep the computer after the component ends as long as they stay on track to complete Algebra I math before high school and maintain a “B” in math and science.

The two Middle School Academies scheduled for summer 2019 are July 8 – 16 and July 20 – 28. Anchorage area students who are interested in attending should apply by April 19.

STEM Career Exploration
Each summer STEM Career Exploration welcomes back students grades seven through nine who previously attended Middle School Academy. The five-day, residential component challenges returning students to dive deeper into a particular facet of STEM education that interests them.

Working alongside industry professionals and ANSEP staff, the students learn about the many different STEM career paths available. The component teaches students how an interest in biology translates to a passion for working in healthcare. It highlights how an interest in nature can lead to a successful Geology career.

The 2019 STEM Career Exploration component dates are:

  • Energy Sciences, June 10 – 14.
  • Geological Sciences, June 17 – 21.
  • Health Sciences, June 24 – 28.
  • Marine Sciences, July 15 – 19.

The application deadline for this component has passed for 2019, but keep an eye on the ANSEP website to stay updated on future opportunities and deadlines.

Acceleration Academy (Summer)
At Acceleration Academy (Summer), high school students live on the UAA campus and earn a college math or science credit. Throughout the component, students develop a familiarity with the college lifestyle and build relationships with like-minded peers and college professors.

Rocket builds, first aid certification courses, boat trips, DNA coding and kayak building are just a few of the engaging, hands-on STEM activities.

Students who are interested must apply online, provide two teacher recommendations, transcripts, ALEKS scores, and a 500-word essay. Although the summer 2019 application deadline has passed, students can still apply for the full-time Acceleration Academy (Anchorage) and (Mat-Su).

Summer Bridge
The best way for students to transition from high school to college is through ANSEP’s Summer Bridge component. Hosted on the UAA campus, the component helps recent high school graduates adjust to the college lifestyle. Additionally, students earn free college credits and work a paid internship in the industry of their choice. Throughout the summer, the students gain real-world career experience and participate in valuable networking opportunities with industry professionals.

Strategic partners who employ ANSEP Summer Bridge students include:

• Alaska Department of Fish and Game

• Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

• Arctic Research Consortium of the United States

• Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

• BP

• Bristol Bay Native Association

• Bureau of Land Management

• Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement

• ConocoPhillips

• ExxonMobil

• Kawera

• Kuskokwim Native Association

• LGL Alaska Research Associates

• Mystic Aquarium

• National Wildlife Service

• North Slope Bureau

• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

• U.S. Forest Service

• U.S. Geological Survey

Students who successfully complete Summer Bridge are eligible for scholarships to any University of Alaska branch the following semester. The summer 2019 dates are May 25 – Aug. 2.

University and Graduate Success
The ANSEP University and Graduate Success components are year-round and provide students with summer internship opportunities. Many of the ANSEP strategic partners are the same as our Summer Bridge partners. This component helps undergraduate students as well as doctoral and graduate students earn money toward college tuition, gain real-world career experience and develop relationships with professors and industry professionals. Students participating in Graduate and University Success finish college with research experience, career skills and the networking connections necessary to succeed in STEM careers.

Other Summer STEM opportunities
Although many of the ANSEP summertime deadlines have passed, there are other summertime STEM opportunities in Alaska. Some include:

Cook Inlet Tribal Council: STEM Learning Labs connect high school students for peer-to-peer activities that promote community involvement and academic success.

STEM AK: Powered by the Juneau Economic Development Council, STEM AK offers summer science camps that incorporate Legos, robotics, 3D printing and EV3 programming.

Alaska Zoo: Kids interested in a career as a zoologist should check out the Alaska Zoo Adventure Camp.

Girl Scouts of Alaska: Summer camps help girls of all ages develop leadership skills, outdoor training and an interest in STEM education. Many camps do not require scout membership.

Challenger Learning Center of Alaska: Aerial robotics, forensic science and engineering camps are just a few activities at the center’s Summer STEM Academy 2019.

UAA College of Engineering: Third through 12th grade students from Anchorage, Kenai and Mat-Su can apply for the Summer Engineering Academies.