ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – This summer Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program is hosting two, five-week Acceleration Academy sessions on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. The 139 students, who represent 30 Alaska communities, are earning credit toward a college degree while being immersed in a university setting and learning about career opportunities that exist in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Acceleration Academy students gain hands-on experience through real-world STEM activities led by industry professionals. Team-based STEM learning sessions include:
- Growing biomaterials collected from the Anchorage area in order to test thermal structural properties.
- Engineering robotic fish models for speed and agility, constructing them, then testing the robot fish in teams during an aquatic challenge.
- Designing and testing strong towers able to withstand earthquakes.
- Assembling and programming unmanned aerial vehicles then testing the drones during a friendly competition with peers in an obstacle course.
- Designing, building and testing model water treatment systems.
- Working with health professionals in telemedicine and physical therapy sessions, emergency room situations and traumatic brain injury scenarios, in collaboration with UAA’s Area Health Education Center and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
“The goal of Acceleration Academy is to develop students academically and socially for college while fueling their passion and giving them all the tools they need to achieve their goals,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “Acceleration Academy students have access to valuable educational experiences and have a chance to earn college credits that can jumpstart their STEM careers.”
The 140 students chosen to participate in the all-expenses paid Acceleration Academy include:
- Anchorage: Isiah Bauzon, Tremayne Booker, Simon Bosse, Brady Burrough, Logan Burrough, Aatem Cooke, Arthur Ellanna, Lucas Galovin, Kaitlyn Hanson, Edward Hazelton, Danika Herndon, Seth Johnson, Alandra Jones, Alexander Jones, Janessa Joseph, Talos Katrobos, Carrera Kelly, Elijah Kim, Kaitlyn Knox, Aleric Kompkoff-Anderson, Stefani Martinez, Marielle Medina, Trevor Moose, Ava Neck, Christine Noratak, Charles Panigeo, Elizabeth Paton, William Paton, Chloe Phillips, Starlyn Phillips, Parker Pickett, Paisley Protzman, Charitie Ropati, Destiny Ropati, Ryan Ross, Ariel Schneider, Alexander Schuerch, Mark Schuerch, Jesslyn Sene, Bre’Anna Sherman, Nadia Sherman, Baahii Tallman, Konaa Tallman, Matthew Theisen, Madison Thompson, Makena Thompson, Dastzeni Tibbits, Lenny Urena, Sione Vea, Lila Marie Watson, Robert Watson and Lauryn Yates
- Barrow: Esau Weyioanna
- Bethel: Marc Adlaon, Nels Alexie-Leonard, Noah Andrew, Ray Daniel, Chiara Demientieff, Adeline Dyment, Deja Jackson, Tatiana Korthuis, Elijah Lindley, Mackenzie Smith, Ryan Smith, Ethan Sundown and Caitlyn Twito
- Chefornak: Moses Wiseman
- Chugiak: Elijah Faso-Formoso and Noah Faso-Formoso
- Dillingham: Evelyn Irene Corbett, Sue Lee, Sadie Sands and Sawyer Sands
- Eagle River: Amaya Reid
- Fairbanks: Jasmine Allen, Samuel Thomas Hughes, Shariah Hunt, Jill Jacobs, Michael Johnson, and Naomi Nelson
- Galena: Megan Patsy
- Homer: Samuel Andrew Larson and DayLynn Yenney
- Juneau: Brice Norton and Joshua Quinto
- Kake: Balin Parton, Kylie Rose and Taylor Vantrease
- Kenai: Rosalie Anderson and Lisa Krol
- Kipnuk: Keoni Aliralria and Jaden Anaver
- Kongiganak: Cassandra Brown
- Kotzebue: Ayiana Browning, Xavier Jones and Kelly Thomas Jr.
- Napaskiak: Paul Larson and Trevor Mesak
- Newtok: Murphy Charles and Marilyn Fairbanks
- Nikiski: Brenden Boehme
- Nikolaevsk: Chelsea Johnson
- Nome: Sierra Anderson, Brayden Bahnke, David Bahnke, Benjamin Cross, Amber Gray, Aidan Osborne and John Wade
- Palmer: Levi Farris, Lucas Fisher, Jasmine Mueller, Sara Oomittuk, Reign Pagaran and Natalie Yankovic
- Quinhagak: Megan Cleveland
- Soldotna: Erika Eberhard, Braden Lemm and Trayce Lyon
- St. Mary’s: Ayden Alstrom-Beans and Ronald Alstrom-Beans
- Sterling: Kennedy Holland
- Tok: Richard Charlie
- Wasilla: Ronald Bernier, Daniel Bitler, Hannalora Bolduc, Tommi Crist, Elizabeth Heyano, Summer Morse, Jacob Nelson-Kainer, Katherine Sakeagak, Jonah Settle and Shania Sommer
- Willow: Kenna Grenier
- Wrangell: Tasha Massin
Two five-week Acceleration Academy sessions are held each summer for high school students to develop academic and social skills for college. Students become familiar with navigating the UAA campus and build lasting relationships with their peers who share similar interests and goals. Each summer, these students advance one level or more in math or science at a rate of 95 percent.
“We’ve had a handful of particularly motivated, intelligent students who participated in Acceleration Academy each summer they were high school, and they entered the university with all the math and science credits they needed for their undergraduate engineering degree,” said Schroeder.
This year, ANSEP’s Acceleration Academy component is reaching an additional 40 students from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region as a result of generous three-year grant from the Association of Village Council Presidents. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit www.ANSEP.net.