Carl Smith

North Carolina State University
Carl Smith

My favorite STEM course in high school would have to be Project Based Learning in Earth Science at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School. I find that the collaborative projects we worked on that required out-of-the-box thinking to help us apply what we learned is extremely beneficial to me now that I’m in college. In addition, the teacher helped foster a friendship that still exists today.

If I were to give any advice to high school students aspiring to study or work in a STEM field, I would say, “Work hard and enjoy the material. Just be curious and passionate!” My STEM studies haven’t really impacted what I wish to do as a career. However, they have given me the skills required to thrive in STEM fields: the ability to reason, visualization skills, and linear as well as hierarchical thinking have allowed me to expand the depth and breadth of my thoughts. This has helped me better convey my thoughts, thus appearing more articulate to both employers and peers. This development in communication skills has improved my ability to network with others in and out of STEM-related fields.

I recently began a startup with a mentor of mine in a limited liability company (LLC) that involves us generating and patenting novel content in STEM related fields. If this business expands, then in 5-10 years, I see myself expanding the scope of this company to doing research in plasmas.

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This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under NSF grant number DRL-1118993.