Student exhibits and space industry execs to be featured at this year’s OC Pathways Showcase

There’s still time to register for the third annual OC Pathways Showcase.

The Nov. 29 event, highlighting collaborative efforts by educators and industry leaders to establish career pathways in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, where dozens of student-led exhibits will be on display. We’re talking a 6-foot-tall robot, a giant drone, a flight simulator, a miniature communications satellite and much more.

OC Pathways Showcase flierGuests will also get to hear from a pair of special guests whose work in the space industry pretty much checks all the STEM boxes.

Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, will be a featured speaker along with Tim Buzza, vice president of launch Virgin Orbit. (Buzza was also involved with last year’s showcase.)

To register, visit

Funded through a state grant in 2014, OC Pathways continues to team educators with business leaders to establish career pathways and work-based learning opportunities for students. Led by OCDE and Saddleback College, the initiative blends rigorous academics with career preparation in the STEM-related industry sectors of engineering/advanced manufacturing, healthcare/biotechnology, and information and communications technology/digital media.

“Our students are changing the world,” Jeff Hittenberger, OCDE’s chief academic officer said. “OC Pathways is demonstrating the power unleashed when academic inquiry is woven together with career education in ways that tap into students’ passions. When students see that their learning can translate into human-centered designs that make a significant difference in the lives of individuals and communities, their motivation accelerates.”

This year’s showcase is expected to draw more than 400 attendees from schools, businesses, colleges and community organizations.