Ascension Parish community photo gallery for March 17, 2016 _lowres

Photo provided by Pecan Grove -- Pecan Grove Elementary School STEM GEMS members heard Mars One Ambassador Alyssa Carson speak about her experiences at the school's STEM GEMS event. Front row from left, are STEM GEMS Jakirra Gibson, Ashley Zelaya, Jackline Baca, Payton Webster, Grace Burke, Ariana Polk, Alayna Dollar and Isabelle Olivier; back row, Principal Amy Champagne, Alsie Dunbar, Ashley Mota Javilara, Akayla Belvin, Dajon Brumfield, Jolie Daigle (in red), Alyssa Carson, Allee Melancon , Alaysha Steib, Audrey Schneider, Makayla Delmore, Mikaylah Thorton, Betzy Martinez and Assistant Principal Allison Brown.

Baton Rouge International School student Alyssa Carson, an ambassador for MarsOne, the company planning a human settlement on Mars, visited Pecan Grove Primary on Jan. 29.

She spoke to the STEM GEMS Mentoring Group, founded to promote the interest of Girls Excelling in Math and Science through mentoring and encouragement to pursue careers and advanced degrees in STEM fields.

STEM GEMS is designed to help girls develop talents and interests that they have in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through projects, shadowing and collaborations.

Founded by engineer and scientist Alsie Dunbar, a lifelong resident of Ascension Parish, the STEM GEMS Mentoring Pilot Project has worked with former Ascension Schools’ Superintendent Patrice Pujol to mentor young girls that are identified as high achievers in math in science.

Carson spoke about her experiences completing the NASA Passport Program, visiting all 14 NASA Visitor Centers in the United States. She is in the seventh grade at Baton Rouge International School, where she studies all her subjects in four languages.