STEM Advocates Build Network for Classrooms to Connect with Local Experts

Brenda Taylor addresses teachers and would-be collaborators at a SouthEast Exchange STEM networking event.
(Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

Holding the attention of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers can be tricky. Fortunately, Juneau is rife with professionals who work in those fields every day.

A group of local STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — advocates is working on a database to make it easy for teachers to connect bookwork with real world work and find those professionals.

“From mining expertise and engineering, kind of geology, we have the glacial, we have University of Alaska Southeast, University of Alaska Fairbanks has fisheries here, we have NOAA fisheries, we have all the state organizations,” said Jordan Watson, a fisheries scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. “We have so many different expertise here and in such a small town, it would seem a shame to not be using it in the classrooms.”

He and other members of SouthEast Exchange, or SEE, wanted to find a way to bring all of those resources to teachers. They hosted a networking event recently to help bridge that gap.

About 150 educators and STEM professionals came to network and register in SEE’s directory.

Read the full article here.

Source: STEM advocates build network for classrooms to connect with local experts – KTOO Public Media

Alaska Airlines Pledges Additional $1 Million to Support STEM Education in Rural Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Alaska Airlines has renewed its partnership with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) to provide a brighter future for middle school students from rural communities across the state of Alaska.

The second, three-year $1 million grant brings Alaska Airlines’ total investment in ANSEP to $2 million. Over the next three years, funds will help transport nearly 2,000 Alaska students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades to Anchorage to attend ANSEP’s award-winning Middle School Academy education program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“We’re proud to see the continued success of ANSEP in fostering an interest in STEM education in the state of Alaska,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president for the state of Alaska. “Our goal is to make sure that as many students as possible have the opportunity to attend this program. We know the skills these students gain by attending ANSEP will benefit their communities and the state of Alaska, while preparing them for future success.”

The ANSEP grants are among the largest financial donations Alaska Airlines has made in the state in its 85 years of operating in Alaska. In 2016, Alaska Airlines donated $3.6 million in cash and in-kind contributions to support more than 300 different nonprofit groups and organizations throughout the state.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska Airlines pledges additional $1 million to support STEM education in rural Alaska – PR Newswire

Workforce Wednesday: STEM Careers


Careers in science, technology, engineering and math, better known as STEM, are in high demand and pay well. The Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC) typically focuses on opportunities in the trades in Alaska, however, STEM careers have a lot to offer in growth potential, diversity and opportunity.

Alaskan, Willow Hetrick, is a biologist with a private consulting firm in Anchorage. She joined Daybreak to offer insight into what it’s like to work in a stem career.

“I went to school for natural resource and environmental management, and I also have a certificate in urban and regional planning,” Hetrick said. “I’ve been working in Alaska since 2009, when I came back from college, in environmental consulting, focusing mainly on permitting and marine and terrestrial wildlife surveys.”

Hetrick says her role as a consultant is split into about 80 percent office work and 20 percent field work. “I spend a lot of time writing documents, a lot of time writing permits, a lot of time in meetings,” Hetrick added. “But it is necessary to get out in the field to see the sites you’re permitting. I’ve had an opportunity to travel all across the state. It’s fantastic.”

The pay for entry-level jobs in STEM careers range from entry-level, $35- to $45,000, to more experienced workers earning more than $100,000, according to APICC. You will typically need a bachelors or masters degree to work in a STEM career.

“All of our state universities offer degrees in what would be acceptable degrees for that,” said Martha Peck, with APICC.

Peck said she found job openings at the State of Alaska, ASRC, Ahtna, North Slope Borough, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Environmental Resource Management, UIC Arctic Response Services and Bowhead Family of Companies.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: STEM careers – KTVA 11 – The Voice of Alaska