Last week, CIA had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) in Anchorage, Alaska, for a few days of training simulations on detecting national security threats.

Founded in 1995, ANSEP’s objective is to inspire, educate, and propel Alaskan Native students of all ages toward success in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It pursues this objective through a number of academic and professional programs intended to challenge students and accelerate learning to keep pace with the needs of tomorrow. One of these, the Summer Bridge Program, is geared toward graduating high school seniors as they transition into higher education and career planning. Always on the lookout for bright young minds (particularly in science and technology!), CIA jumped at the opportunity to pay these students a visit.

ANSEP participants were excited to participate in technical simulations provided by the visiting officers. They worked in small teams with limited resources and under demanding time constraints to identify threats in a fictional small town. The students took on the role of Agency officers, using critical thinking, situational awareness, and decision-making skills to address the simulated national threat – no small feat, but one our officers face on a daily basis.

On the last day, CIA officers even had the opportunity to join our US Fish and Wildlife colleagues, who trained the students on wilderness safety. This summer, many of these students are headed to STEM internships that will take them into the field, making wilderness safety a top priority. And who knows, maybe in the future we’ll see some of them walking the halls of CIA, tackling some of our nation’s toughest science and engineering challenges.

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Learn more about CIA internship opportunities here.