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Young people press ahead, testing their journalistic skills at USC event

Trojans advise young people eager to learn about health, medicine, energy, technology and more

Lomita STEAM elementary students working on a story
Youngsters from the Lomita STEAM Magnet School were students for a day at USC. (Photo/Zara Saif)

More than 250 elementary school students jumped at the chance to learn about writing and journalism from Trojans who represented three USC schools.

The wRiting Engineering Arts Communications & Health (REACH) Symposium for kids attracted presenters and volunteers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Trojans were energized by the level of engagement shown by the young people at the all-day event on USC’s University Park Campus.

Lauren Crawford, a PhD candidate at USC Viterbi, worked with fifth-graders from Foshay Learning Center, one of the USC Family of Schools, about water desalination, hydroelectric energy and the importance of environmental engineering. The students asked a series of well-reasoned questions that impressed Crawford.

When asked about the presenter experience, biomedical engineering PhD candidate Samantha McBirney said she was “very impressed with the kids and their hunger for knowledge. They were able to connect the dots really well and ask really smart questions.”

Lunch time entertainment was provided by USC’s SoCal VoCals, who performed several a cappella songs before holding an impromptu beatbox battle.

The goal of the event was to create a space for Title I elementary school students to improve their writing and journalism skills while learning about the environment, health, medicine, energy, computer science, space, branding and technology.

The symposium was a collaborative effort among the three schools along with PressFriends at USC Club and PressFriends Inc., with support from the Joint Educational Project at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the USC Office of the Provost and USC’s Emeriti Center.

World Med speakers and PressFriends at USC

WorldMed undergrad speakers pose with PressFriends at USC club board members who ran the REACH program. (Photo/Anitesh Bajaj)

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Young people press ahead, testing their journalistic skills at USC event

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