News | METRANS Teams with USC Alumni Association to Introduce Local Youth to STEM Careers

Stop the Video



by Jacob Wong, USC Master of Public Policy, 2023

On Saturday, March 12th, as part of the Annual USC Alumni Day of SCervice, the METRANS K12 student team once again hosted local high school youth for an interactive day of lectures and activities designed to introduce them to exciting STEM careers, this year with an emphasis on those in aerospace. 



The day began on the USC campus with a presentation from NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) aeronautical engineer, Carson Schubert, who shared his own career path as well as many others with the students, along with current JPL projects and what is on the horizon for STEM careers.  “I was really excited to speak at this event!” he shared.  “I see that at a high level, we’re looking to inspire high schoolers to appreciate and pursue STEM careers, particularly in the space/engineering/transportation fields. I think my own experiences lend themselves well to such a talk. I graduated in May 2021 with a dual degree in math and electrical engineering. While an undergrad I interned at a few places in the space industry, including JPL, before going full time with JPL in July 2021. I was glad to be able to connect with the audience, since I’m only 6 to 10 years removed from being in their shoes myself!”


Carson Schubert, Operations System Engineer, NASA JPL


After his presentation, Carson then accompanied the students to the California Science Center, where they had lunch, engaged in a professional development workshop given by USC THRIVE program faculty and students, viewed exhibits on space and aeronautics, and saw the NASA IMAX movie about the Space Shuttle Endeavor.


For Brooklyn, a ninth-grade student at Hybrid High, a personal highlight of the trip was hearing Carson share how his career path led him to NASA. “He took different paths to get there,” she explained. “He started [in one branch of engineering] and kept going until he ended up at JPL…  ‘You don’t have to know what you’re going to do in the beginning.’ That’s what he was saying.”  Brooklyn found that to be quite similar to where she is right now, and could relate.  Although she found the space exhibits at the Science Center fascinating, Brooklyn doesn’t think a career in the aerospace is in her future. However, she does plan to study and eventually work in the STEM field. “I don’t really know what I want to do, but I just have to have a direction I know I want to go in,” she said.


This was METRANS second year participating in the USC Alumi Association Day of SCervice. 


About the Author:

Jacob Wong is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the Price School of Public Policy. He is curious about issues in urban policy and transportation planning. He is a recent LA transplant, and in his free time he enjoys exploring the area and the local food scene.