Summer Science Camp Seeks Next Generation of Innovators

The ExxonMobil Foundation and former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. offer program for aspiring scientists and engineers for 10th consecutive year

Middle-school students eager to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning are encouraged to apply for the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp experience to be held at 20 universities nationwide.

Supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation, the program is celebrating a decade of promoting STEM academic excellence. “Through hands-on activities such as building robots and testing space crafts, students have the opportunity to see how science, technology, engineering and math are integrated with daily life,” said Harris, president, The Harris Foundation.One thousand aspiring scientists and engineers will be selected to strengthen their STEM knowledge and skills, alongside Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr, camp founder and the first African-American to walk in space, and other STEM professionals, including ExxonMobil engineers.

Throughout the two-week camp, students live on campus and participate in interactive, inquiry-based classes taught by university faculty, secondary school teachers and STEM educators. Campers also have the opportunity to explore local museums and nature centers − discovering science within their communities.

Students will also hear from local professionals about exciting and diverse careers in STEM fields, where the demand for skilled workers continues to increase. According to the Business Center for a College- and Career-Ready America, almost all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will require at least some background in STEM. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the demand for professionals in a variety of engineering disciplines will continue to grow, with the addition of approximately 250,000 engineering positions over the next 10 years.

“The Bernard Harris Camp Program is a key avenue for students to experience STEM fields at an early age,” said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “Inspiring today’s youth to develop an interest – and ultimately pursue careers – in math, science and engineering is critical to ensuring the next generation of leaders is armed with innovative skills to address the challenges of the 21st century.”

Since 2006, more than 9,500 underserved students have participated in this program. According to a 2013 Harris Foundation study of camp alumni, 84 percent of graduating high school participants credit the camp experience for impacting their decision to take STEM-related honors, Pre-Advanced Placement and/or Advanced Placement classes in high school; 96 percent plan to go to college; and 86 percent plan to pursue a STEM-related career.

Eligible applicants must be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grades in the fall of 2015. Additional information regarding application requirements and camp-specific submission instructions are available at www.theharrisfoundation.org.

In 2015, camps will be hosted at the following universities:

Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas)
New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, N.J.)
North Carolina Central University (Durham, N.C.)
Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, Texas)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
Rose‐Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Ind.)
Saint Louis University (St. Louis, Mo.)
Southern University (Baton Rouge, La.)
Temple University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
University of Alaska Anchorage (Anchorage, Alaska)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Little Rock, Ark.)
University of Colorado Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
University of Houston (Houston, Texas)
University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, Miss.)
University of Texas – Pan American (Edinburg, Texas)
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)
University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyo.)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Mass.)

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