Alaska High School Students Build and Fly UAVs, Explore STEM Careers


This summer, Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) is hosting team-based sessions focused on career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, including one for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

ANSEP’s two five-week Acceleration Academy sessions will be held on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Representing 30 Alaska communities, 139 students will earn credit toward a college degree, be immersed in a university setting and learn about careers in STEM.

Led by industry professionals, the Acceleration Academy’s team-based STEM learning sessions include a program in which students will assemble and program their own UAVs. They will then test their drones in an obstacle course during a friendly competition with their peers, says ANSEP.

Other sessions include engineering robotic fish models and testing them in an aquatic challenge, designing and testing towers to withstand earthquakes, designing and testing water treatment systems, and more.

“The goal of Acceleration Academy is to develop students academically and socially for college while fueling their passion and giving them all the tools they need to achieve their goals,” says ANSEP’s founder and vice provost, Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “Acceleration Academy students have access to valuable educational experiences and have a chance to earn college credits that can jump-start their STEM careers.”

Photo courtesy of ANSEP

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