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Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program hosts Lower Yukon and Northwest Arctic Borough School District students at Middle School Academy


Twelve-day academy inspires young Alaska students to pursue STEM careers, creates lasting economic benefits for the state

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) is hosting 48 students from the Lower Yukon School District (LYSD) and Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD) for its February Middle School Academy. On Feb. 10, the students were flown to Anchorage as part of ANSEP’s new $1 million, three-year partnership with Alaska Airlines.

Middle School Academies are residential science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences designed to foster enthusiasm for pursuing an education in these career areas. Throughout the 12-day, all-expenses-paid program, students live like a college student at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) while participating in team-based activities ranging from computer and bridge builds, to alternative energy and earthquake engineering sessions.

Students participating in the February academy are from 10 communities in Western Alaska, including:


  • Emily Harry
  • Krystal Joseph


  • Pius Hoover II
  • Serena Lamont
  • Hannah Moore
  • Marlene Moore
  • Lanny Oktoyak

Hooper Bay

  • Maedrean Bell
  • Ravynn Condello
  • Mary Ford
  • Marcus Hale
  • Zachary Hoelscher
  • Daisy Joe
  • Mary Long
  • Geneva Smith


  • Trisha Savetilik


  • Tahayla Baker
  • Kaiden Conwell
  • Katelyn DelaRosa
  • Stephanie Eakin
  • Laura Fields
  • Qutan Lambert
  • Samuel Lazarus
  • Skye Reich
  • Brian Stalker
  • Jackson Stroud
  • Gabriel Thomas
  • Alvin Werneke III
  • Kyleigha Wilson-Nay

Mountain Village

  • Lynnx Beans
  • Kenzie Long
  • Justina Peterson

Nunam Iqua

  • Mason Canoe
  • Dominica Strongheart

Pilot Station

  • Devon Heckman
  • Fredrick Myers II
  • Nicodemus Nick
  • Landon Polty
  • Patrick Polty

Russian Mission

  • Nadine Edwards
  •  Reanna Lease
  • Justin Stephanoff
  • Mason Wigley

Scammon Bay

  • Jaye Chandler
  • Shanelle Cholok
  • Louis Kasayuli
  • Xavier Smith
  • Saund Ulak

The Middle School Academy is a key component for ANSEP’s goal of continually exposing students to STEM opportunities throughout their academic careers, beginning at the middle school level. ANSEP’s longitudinal model continues through high school and into college undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs, shaping students into educated scientists and engineers who feed the growing demand for STEM leaders in Alaska.

“Reaching students at a young age puts them on track for STEM degrees and ahead of their peers, making it a crucial component of the program’s success,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “Thanks to our generous partners, we are expanding our Middle School Academy to 12 school districts by 2018, providing more Alaska students with an opportunity to engage in hands-on STEM activities while learning from industry professionals.”

The February session is one of five Middle School Academies being held during the 2014-2015 school year, along with three this summer. This is an increase from previous years thanks to recent grants and in-kind support from Alaska Airlines, Alaska State Legislature, Alyeska Pipeline, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, ExxonMobil, Rasmuson Foundation, Shell, the State of Alaska and Udelhoven Oilfield System Services, among many other partner organizations. Middle School Academies are also made possible by partnerships with numerous Alaska School Districts.


The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), founded by Herb Schroeder, Ph.D., is part of the University of Alaska system and strives to effect systemic change in the hiring patterns of Alaska Natives in science and engineering by placing students on a career path to leadership. ANSEP’s model is developed to support students starting in sixth grade through high school and into science and engineering undergraduate degree programs and through graduate school to the doctorate level. The focus of each ANSEP component is to provide excitement and empowerment around these career options.


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