ANSEP partners with Anchorage School District for second Middle School Academy of 2017

Middle School Academy Students load testing different bridge builds. Image-ANSEP
Middle School Academy Students load testing different bridge builds. Image-ANSEP

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program has partnered again with Anchorage School District to give local students a chance to participate in ANSEP’s 12-day, all-expenses-paid Middle School Academy on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. This is the second Middle School Academy for ASD students this year, which means more than 100 new Anchorage School District students are now in the ANSEP pipeline and on the right track to achieve their education and career goals. 

Middle School Academies are residential STEM experiences designed to immerse students in applied learning opportunities related to career areas that require a degree in science, technology, engineering and/or math. Throughout the component, students live like college students at UAA while participating in activities that range from computer and bridge builds to earthquake engineering sessions led by industry professionals.

Students’ applications were evaluated based on their academic records and essay responses, providing them a chance to get experience submitting a college-like application as early as fifth grade. There are 54 participants from grades five through seven who were chosen to participate in ANSEP’s June Middle School Academy, including: 

  • Abbott Loop Elementary School: Devin Ferdinand, Phillip Jamestown and Tajuan Zamir Jamestown 
  • Airport Heights Elementary School: Ayman Eltahir
  • Alaska Native Cultural Charter School: Dyani Buege, Dejahn Hoover, Kylie Phillips and Stephanie Tyson
  • Bayshore Elementary School: Evelyn Engle and Kailei Muehlenkamp
  • Begich Middle School: Aaliyah Chickalusion and Anna Hyer
  • Bowman Elementary School: Calvin Weber
  • Chester Valley Elementary School: Andrew Jones and Mason Paulsen
  • Chinook Elementary School: Dev’yonne Jackson and Achilles Amor Batt San Juan
  • Clark Middle School: Aliana Chopito, Shianna Bethany Leavitt and Samuel Williams
  • College Gate Elementary School: Kendra Klotz
  • Denali Montessori Elementary School: Dorothy Sakegak
  • Eagle River Elementary School: Jason Kyle
  • Huffman Elementary School: Ada Putman
  • Inlet View Elementary School: Khayla Whitney
  • Jane Mears Middle School: Allison Evans and Stephanie Tupuola
  • Kincaid Elementary School: Kiya Frey, Quincy Gellerman and DeVon Smith
  • Lake Otis Elementary School: Katrina Faith Halleran
  • Muldoon Elementary School: Marcus Sterling-Jerue and Nathan Yang Smith
  • Nunaka Valley Elementary School: Ellenia Dommek
  • Ocean View Elementary School: Tayla Krueger, Zack Layman and Isabella Maillet
  • Polaris K-12: Cedar Shuler
  • Rogers Park Elementary School: Amelia DeSentis, Geoffrey Makoni and Elias Rodriguez
  • Sand Lake Elementary School: Kiana Drexhage-Drussell
  • Scenic Park Elementary School: Samuel Mecham 
  • Spring Hill Elementary School: Darwon Paul
  • Susitna Elementary School: Kahayla Green
  • Taku Elementary School: Savannah Shayen
  • Turnagain Elementary School: Kaden Abbott, Sorjen Paul and Dirk Warren
  • Wendler Middle School: Jared Weaver
  • Willowcrest Elementary School: Amylynn Okpeaha
  • Winterberry Charter School: Hayden Carter
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“ANSEP has proven that academic success can be tied to exposing students early on to math and science, but that engagement must continue throughout their academic careers. ANSEP is proud to see this bright young group of Anchorage students enter the ANSEP pipeline through Middle School Academy this summer. Our goal is for these students to continue participating in ANSEP components, to get a college degree, then to have successful careers – we know ANSEP can help Alaska’s students achieve all of this,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. 

The ANSEP model begins at the middle-school level and continues through high school and into college undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. A key component of the program, the Middle School Academy inspires young students to become involved in science and engineering early in their educational careers and keeps them on track to compete algebra 1 before high school. More than 77 percent of Middle School Academy students complete algebra 1 before entering high school. Nationally, that number is 26 percent. To learn more about ANSEP and its components, visit


The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program, founded by Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder, Ph.D., is part of the University of Alaska system. The program strives to effect systemic change in the hiring patterns of Alaska Natives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics career fields by placing its students on a path to leadership. Beginning at the middle school level, ANSEP’s longitudinal model continues through high school and into undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs, allowing students to succeed at rates far exceeding national numbers. In 2015, the organization launched ANSEP STEM Teacher to further remedy Alaska’s rural education issues by supporting students pursuing STEM-related teaching certificates. ANSEP plans to place one ANSEP STEM Teacher in every Alaska village by 2025.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adsense-responsive”]