What started as a scholarship program for one undergraduate student at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1995 now is guiding thousands of middle school students across the state down the path to bachelor’s degrees.
“We’ve got students from southeast, from Kenai area, from Galena, participating in our 12-day residential middle school academy experience, ” Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program regional director Michael Bourdukofsky said. “Today they are testing their balsa wood bridges which they spent the last two days designing and building.”
Friday marked the 25th year ANSEP has provided access to higher quality education for Alaska students. The bridge project, which took about two days for most students, is one of many that teaches students the importance of learning new skills.
The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program celebrated and recognized seven students from Anchorage on their accomplishments and being the first graduates from its full-time Acceleration Academy. These students, in
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.
Providing early research experiences and creating supportive campus environments are among the promising and intentional strategies outlined in a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine focused on the impact and role of minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in producing graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The academy’s report “Minority-Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce” reaffirms the relevance of MSIs and notes an urgent need to invest in the institutions to not only graduate and prepare MSI students for in-demand STEM careers, but also to sustain and enhance the nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness and national security, according to committee members sponsoring the report.
“This country can’t strengthen the STEM pipeline and bring more people into it without engaging the institutions where the students actually are,” said Dr. Kent McGuire, co-chair of the Committee on Closing the Equity Gap: Securing Our STEM Education and Workforce Readiness Infrastructure in the Nation’s Minority-Serving Institutions. “The conversation isn’t about, ‘Well, we can’t work with these schools because they don’t have this or they don’t have that.’ The conversation has to be, ‘We won’t actually be competitive internationally if we don’t help these schools do well what it is they do.’”
McGuire, who is also program director of education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, added that, among other things, the report speaks to the variation among MSIs in how they serve students and also the challenges they face collectively and individually. America’s nearly 700 two- and four-year MSIs include historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).
Read the full article here. It also mentions the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) at the University of Alaska Anchorage that embodies the strategies in the report by targeting students earlier in the pipeline – as early as sixth grade – and supporting and nurturing their intellectual growth and interest in STEM fields as they matriculate through their postsecondary education.
The Alaska Association for Career and Technical Education celebrated 13 outstanding Alaskan educators, workforce development champions, and business and community leaders with awards at their October 2018 state conference in Anchorage.
Outstanding CTE Teacher of the Year: Chris Taylor, Mat-Su Career Tech High School, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
Outstanding NEW CTE Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Alaska Business Education Compact: Vanessa Forbes, King Tech High School, Anchorage School District
Business/Information Technology Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Alaska Business Week: Ken Werner, Alaska Vocational Technical Education Center
Industrial/Technology Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Construction Industry Progress Fund: Peter Daley, Hutchison High School, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Health Sciences Teacher of the Year: Kelly Woolcott, Mat-Su Career Tech High School, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
Hospitality/Tourism Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Alaska CHARR: Melinda Dooley, Service High School, Anchorage School District
STEM Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Alaska Resource Education: John Notestine, Wasilla High School, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
CTE Administrator of the Year: Jon Clouse, Southwest Region School District
Promising Practices Award, sponsored by Andrews Auctions, Appraisals and Professional Services: Christel Mozaelevskiy, Redington High School, Educators Rising Program, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
Leadership Award, sponsored by LeCompte Consulting: Marcia Olson, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium: Fred Villa, Workforce Development, University of Alaska
Community Contribution Award: John Plutt, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 375, Fairbanks
Community Contribution Award: Gloria Burnett, Alaska Center for Rural Health and Health Workforce/Alaska Health Education Consortium