Anchorage STEM event Empowers Girls to see Themselves in ‘The Careers of the Future’

Kimberly Hoeppner keeps children’s heads in the clouds. The meteorologist from the National Weather Service was teaching girls about clouds and more weather phenomena on Saturday.

The girls, in kindergarten through 12th grade, spent the day at the University of Alaska Anchorage getting a hands-on introduction to science.

“Science and technology really are the careers of the future,”  Girls Scouts of Alaska CEO Sue Perles said, “and we know women are underrepresented in these fields and we want girls to feel welcome. We want girls to know they can do whatever it is they want to do.”

Women in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) jobs often experience more discrimination and harassment in the workplace than their males counterparts. A 2018 report from the Pew Research Center states that gender was seen as an impediment rather than an advantage to career success.

The report points to an interactive data set showing the statistics of underrepresented women and minorities in tech companies created by the Wall Street Journal in 2016. Big-name companies are listed, including Microsoft with only 17 percent women of its nearly 60,000 employees in 2015.

UAA’s chancellor Dr. Cathy Sandeen said she hopes the Saturday event recruits the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

“Where we can have a lot of young women come to our campus, and get inspired, and think about going into those fields. That’s the future, they’re the future students of UAA,” Sandeen said.

In another session, girls learned how light affects the colors we see, as part of their introduction to chromatography. Markers and water helped them learn how the components react to each other.

“I never thought that colors with just a bit of water would mix like that. I think it’s really pretty especially with how my galaxy turned out,” said a young girl named Trianna.

According to another article from the Pew Research Center, women have made gains since 1990 in the life sciences and math occupations. In both, women make up around 46 percent of the work force.

With hard work and women scientists like Hoeppner to set the example, girls like Trianna can start to envision a future for themselves in STEM.

Source: Anchorage STEM event empowers girls to see themselves in ‘the careers of the future’ – KTVA

CTE 101

Advance CTE’s newest video provides an overview of how Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares learners for their futures while closing the skills gap for employers across the country. Use this video with critical stakeholders to continue to combat false perceptions of what CTE is and who it is for. This video is designed to help you make the case for CTE in your community and demonstrate the benefits of today’s CTE! We hope that you will watch and share!

Let people know that CTE works and share this video with others:
  • Use the CTE video as an icebreaker during your presentations. It’s a great way to introduce the subject, focus your audience’s attention, and kick off discussions.
  • Share it with your network! View sample social media posts here.
  • Find out more about the data presented in the video here.

Source: Advance CTE

Rural Alaska Honors Institute Adds Teaching and Language Options

Forty Alaska Native and rural high school students hold their Rural Alaska Honors Institute diplomas following the 2018 cap and gown ceremony at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. UAF photo by JR Ancheta

Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Rural Alaska Honors Institute will have new options to explore teaching careers and Alaska Native languages during the summer 2019 session.

At RAHI, high school juniors and seniors from across Alaska will attend classes on the Fairbanks campus from May 28-July 12. They’ll earn up to 11 college credits, which are transferable to any college or university in the United States.

This year, RAHI will offer a new education exploration pathway, funded by the University of Alaska. UA President Jim Johnsen wants 90 percent of Alaska teachers to be educated in Alaska by 2025.

“We are excited to offer this focus on teaching as a career,” said Sandra Kowalski, director of indigenous programs at the UAF College of Rural and Community Development. “Alaska students will benefit greatly as we prepare more of them to teach in rural and Alaska classrooms. Alaskans who become teachers are more committed to staying in our communities.”

Students this year also can enroll in a new three-credit class introducing four Alaska Native languages — Iñupiaq, Athabascan, Yup’ik and Gwich’in. The elective is the first step toward earning a K-12 teaching degree with credentials in Alaska Native languages.

Learn more about RAHI at www.uaf.edu/rahi.

Source: Rural Alaska Honors Institute adds teaching and language options

DEED/CTE Announces Two Competitive Grant Opportunities

Postsecondary Grant RFP

Perkins postsecondary grants will deliver high-quality CTE programs focusing on either direct instruction of secondary students in postsecondary coursework or professional development of CTE instructors in one of nine priority workforce areas identified by the Alaska Workforce Investment Board.  Grants will prioritize offering multiple entry and exit points, including stackable courses and/or credentials for maximum participation and effect.

Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), Local Educational Authorities (LEAs) offering postsecondary instruction, technical schools offering postsecondary instruction, and consortia offering postsecondary instruction are eligible to apply.  Grants awards will be between $50,000 and $150,000 per year for up to three (3) years.  For more information, download the RFP here.  Proposals are due to DEED/CTE by 4pm on April 26, 2019.

Non-Traditional Occupations Grant RFP

Non-Traditional Occupations (NTO) grants improve gender equity and representation in targeted occupational fields important to the current and future state economy.  Grants are expected to increase equitable gender participation and facilitate smooth transitions from secondary education, through postsecondary training, and into the workforce.

LEAs and consortia of LEAs are eligible to apply.  Grants awards will be between $20,000 and $30,000 per year for up to three (3) years.  For more information, download the RFP here.  Proposals are due to DEED/CTE by 4pm on April 26, 2019.

Mat-Su Regional Expands Services, Adds Local Jobs

The new hyperbaric therapy center brought 10 jobs to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, which is also expanding to its third floor with a $16.5 million renovation.

Mat-Su Regional Medical Center is now the only place in Alaska where patients can receive hyperbaric treatment.

The program relies on altering air pressure around patients, which can markedly improve patients’ recovery.

“Essentially what we do is dive them down to 66 to 70 feet below sea level with 100-percent oxygen,” said Dr. Rachel Cuevas, explaining the procedure. “(It) gives them more oxygen in their system to help heal.”

Cuevas is the medical director for the Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Center that opened in October. She said the new equipment has changed the way staff care for patients. People with frostbite, for example, used to have to fly to Seattle for treatment or risk amputation.

“One of the first patients we ran in the chamber had lived her entire life out there in the Valley,” Cuevas said. “She had blood clots go to her toes and they were looking at amputating seven of her toes. We put her in the hyperbaric chamber for a number of treatments and we saved all of her toes.”

Not only is the center providing a new kind of care, it’s also brought about 10 jobs to the Mat-Su.

During Alaska’s recession, health care continues to be a bright spot.

The latest report from UAA’s Institute for Social and Economic Research shows Alaska gained 600 health care jobs in 2018; another 500 are expected to be added this year too.

Cuevas isn’t surprised by that data.

“Health care is one of those things you can’t do without,” she said.

Mat-Su Regional currently has more than 800 employees. The hospital will add dozens of more jobs as it expands operations to the building’s third floor and opens a new behavioral health unit.

“We’re in the east wing of our medical surgical unit, we’re expanding and adding 35 beds,” said CEO Dave Wallace, showing off the new area that’s still under construction. The entire renovation will cost about $16.5 million.

Wallace said Mat-Su Regional’s emergency room is often overcrowded, but the addition means more space for treatment to meet the growing needs of the region’s rising population.

“There are also nursing homes coming to the Valley for the first time and other services we work in tandem with, so we’re excited about developing the work force and making this a great place for health care workers to come,” he said.

Source: Mat-Su Regional expands services, adds local jobs – KTVA