Peninsula represented at Acceleration Academy

Alaska Native students from across the state are continuing their education this summer through several programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage in conjunction with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP).

Students of all ages have the opportunity to explore the difference science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) programs being offered through the university, all expenses paid.

ANSEP’s Acceleration Academy, a program aimed towards high school students, offers the students an opportunity to earn college credits towards a degree of their choice. Each summer, students who participate in the academy advance at least one level in a math or science program.

With a session at the beginning of the summer and a second running right now, the Acceleration Academy utilizes the University of Alaska Anchorage’s resources to help students develop skills and get a jumpstart in pursuing college degrees, according to program organizers.

“We’ve had a handful of particularly motivated, intelligent students who participated in Acceleration Academy each summer they were high school, and they entered the university with all the math and science credits they needed for their undergraduate engineering degree,” said program founder Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder.

This summer, nine students from across the Kenai Peninsula have or are currently attending the Acceleration Academy including Kennedy Holland from Homer, Erika Eberhard, Braden Lemm and Trayce Lyon of Soldotna, Breden Boehme of Nikiski, Rosalie Anderson and Lisa Krol of Kenai and Samuel Andrew Larson and DayLynn Yenney of Homer.

Overall, 140 students were enrolled in the Acceleration Academy and were divided into learning groups that included experiences such as growing biomaterials, engineering robotic fish models, designing towers and testing model water treatment systems.

“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,” Schroeder said. “Acceleration Academy students have access to valuable educational experiences and have a chance to earn college credits that can jumpstart their STEM careers.”

While on campus, students also have the chance to experience college life and develop collegiate social skills over the five-week session, with the cost of housing, meals and transportation covered.

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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