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UAA's ANSEP Program Receives Donation from the Verizon Foundation

ANSEP’s Middle School Academy to utilize funds for wireless computing


ANCHORAGE, AK — The Middle School Academy, one of ANSEP’s pre-college components, was presented with a $10,000 check from the Verizon Foundation on Thursday, July 26 at the ANSEP building on the UAA Campus. ANSEP’s Middle School Academy encourages Alaska Native students in grades five through seven to explore the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) and get them excited about future career opportunities in these fields.

For 12 days each summer, 50 Alaska Native students from across the state engage in career visioning through experiments, projects, and field experiences for students. Led by industry professionals, students engage in activities such as designing, building and testing a balsa wood bridge, rainbow trout dissection, watershed modeling and building a computer. “The Verizon Foundation shares ANSEP’s passion for STEM education and its commitment to creating careers and building communities,” said Tim McCallion, Verizon West Area Vice President.

“The highlight for many students is building their own computer, which they earn the right to keep by successfully completing Algebra 1 prior to eighth grade graduation. From the 2010 Middle School Academy participants who finished 8th grade in 2011, over 80% finished Algebra 1 and earned their computer. With a gift like this from Verizon, these students will be prepared to transition to the university level with the skills and confidence to be successful,” stated Herb Schroeder, founder of ANSEP.

The Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless are recognized nationally for their support of education by using technology to prepare students for success in the 21st century. Verizon provides mobile technology, award-winning free digital content, and teacher training for schools and organizations; all focused on increasing student interest and achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Verizon is a long-standing partner in national and global campaigns to improve literacy and educational attainment. The Verizon Foundation <http://www.verizonfoundation.org> , the philanthropic arm of Verizon, invests in initiatives that leverage innovative technology and interactive learning to increase teacher effectiveness and advance student achievement.  Verizon is committed to enabling children and adults to acquire the complex set of skills that are required for success in the 21st century <http://www.thinkfinity.org/21st-century-skills>  and empowering them to access, absorb, evaluate and use the infinite amount of information that broadband delivers.

ANSEP is a longitudinal model that works with Alaska Native students from the time they are in middle school all the way through to the PhD level. ANSEP increases university recruitment and retention rates through hands-on middle and high school outreach initiatives, rigorous summer bridging programs, focused academic learning communities, organized student cohorts, networks of peer and professional mentors, community-based learning, professional internships and undergraduate and graduate research projects. ANSEP’s objective is to effect a systemic change in the hiring patterns of Indigenous Americans in the fields of STEM by increasing the number of individuals on a career path to leadership in STEM fields.

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