A group of university students watching a presentation at the second Jurassic World™ STEAM Symposium.

STEAM Careers in Jurassic World and Beyond

By Broderick Johnson and Marge Jackson

As a global media and technology company, we were thrilled to bring together nearly 300 first-generation-college-bound students to Universal Orlando Resort for a second Jurassic World STEAM Symposium. This immersive, educational, and fun-filled weekend showcased careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM), as seen throughout the Jurassic World franchise. STEAM-based careers are all around us, but especially so at Comcast NBCUniversal.

Timed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original Jurassic Park movie, we leveraged the collective power of our family of brands – Comcast, Universal Pictures, and Universal Destinations & Experiences – to create this once-in-a-lifetime experience. In partnership with the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), a not-for-profit organization that promotes equity in college access, the effort was part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to empowering the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators.


Commitment to reach tens of millions of people.

“Our mission at COE is to support first-generation-college-bound students and expose them to career fields they may not have known existed,” said Kimberly Jones, President, COE. “We’re so excited to work with Comcast – an organization that shares our goal to inspire young students.”

The weekend was kicked off by a panel moderated by Iris Delgado, News Anchor at Telemundo31 in Orlando, featuring two former COE TRIO program students. Stephanie Peterson, a former tech executive with Meta and Microsoft, and Dr. Tara Ruttley, former NASA Associate Chief Scientist, and current Chief Scientist of Orbital Reef at Blue Origin, shared their stories about being the first in their families to graduate college and the only women in the room as they climbed the ladder of success in male-dominated fields.

Their stories deeply inspired the students. “I’m proud to have been a part of this program to represent my family and to learn about STEAM,” said Candelaria López, a 16-year-old student from the Fresno TRIO Program. “I loved seeing women who come from similar backgrounds as me, now having amazing careers in their field. It gives me hope that I can do anything.”

The students also heard from Karen Irwin, President of Universal Orlando Resort, and Dwight Caines, President of Domestic Marketing, Universal Pictures, as they joined us on stage when we surprised each student with their very own laptops, courtesy of our Internet Essentials program. We also spoke about the importance of learning digital skills and having a home Internet connection, which millions of households are eligible to receive free, through Comcast, under the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

“I could have never imagined the role I have now. My first job was in food and beverage – now I lead a team that brings smiles and adventure to the millions of families who visit our parks every year,” said Karen Irwin, President, Universal Orlando Resort. “The opportunities across Comcast NBCUniversal are endless. There’s engineering, sales, advertising, and creative design – these roles are out there for you.”

Finally, students heard from some of the brilliant minds behind the award-winning Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Dionté Henderson, Senior Manager, Ride & Show Engineering, Gregory Hall, Creative Director, Shelby Honea, Director, Executive Producer, and Eric Parr, Vice President of Creative Studios at Universal Creative, shared stories about designing the ride and the setbacks they had to overcome to complete it.

“Attending the college and career fair and listening to everyone speak about their roles has given me an extra push that I needed. I wasn’t really sure beforehand, but after learning about building roller coasters and designing theme parks, I’m inspired and dedicated to pursuing my dreams,” said Cameron Dean, a 17-year-old student from the Shiloh TRIO Program.

We know these students returned home feeling inspired to think bigger, to pursue careers they may have never known existed, and to start building their own futures of unlimited possibilities.

Broderick D. Johnson is Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Executive Vice President, Digital Equity for Comcast Corporation.

Marge Jackson is Senior Vice President, Sales for Comcast Cable.