Alyssa Carson, 14, believes she is part of the Mars generation and hopes to be one of the first humans to visit the Red Planet.

Carson will speak about her journey and aspirations at the Louisiana STEM Expo on May 6 at the Baton Rouge River Center.

Kenilworth Science and Technology, a public charter school in Baton Rouge, is the founder and host of the Louisiana STEM Expo. STEM studies include science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We’re excited to announce Ms. Carson as this year’s keynote speaker,” said Eugene T. Eski, superintendent at Kenilworth. “She has an incredible goal, and her passion to follow her dream is an important message to present to all Louisiana students.”

Carson decided at the age of 3 that she would become an astronaut, and she has been working toward that goal since. She has completed all of the NASA space camps in the world, was the first person to complete the NASA Passport Program and serves as an ambassador for Mars One, an organization that has proposed to land the first humans on Mars and establish a permanent human colony there by 2027. The ninth-grader attends Baton Rouge International School, where she studies all of her subjects in English, French, Spanish and Chinese.

“STEM and space jobs are the future jobs for kids in school today. There are jobs that we will be doing that don’t even exist yet,” Carson said. “I look forward to the La. STEM Expo to inspire our next generation, the Mars generation, to find their dream, work hard at it and never give up.”

The expo is an innovative alternative to traditional science fairs and includes demonstrations, games and robotics from students across Louisiana. The event is free and open to all public, private, parochial, charter and home school students in Louisiana in grades 6-12. Presenters will be judged by university and industry volunteers, and the winners and their teachers will receive prizes. Interested students can register for free at www.lastemexpo.org.

For information about participating, exhibiting or sponsoring or for schools that want to visit the expo on a field trip, visit www.lastemexpo.org.