Contact: Merritt Talbott, 214-373-1601 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2012
Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. and ExxonMobil Foundation Partner to Inspire Next Generation of Innovators
Summer camps at 20 universities across the country will immerse students in science and math
• All-expenses-paid, two-week educational camp offered to more than 1,000 middle school students nationwide
• Since 2006, program has increased interest in math and science, encouraged nearly 6,000 youth to pursue higher education
• Middle school students encouraged to apply at www.theharrisfoundation.org
HOUSTON -- (BUSINESSWIRE) --- Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., the first African American to walk in space, will offer more than 1,000 middle school students a chance to participate in interactive science and math camp programs at 20 college campuses nationwide this summer with support from the ExxonMobil Foundation.
Students attending the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps will test and develop their engineering and science prowess during daily activities that emphasize development of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.
“The Harris Foundation is proud to offer kids a rewarding way to beat the summer brain drain,” said Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., founder and president, The Harris Foundation. “We believe providing students with access to fun learning opportunities, inspirational role models and gifted teachers can help encourage them to pursue higher education.”
Students live on campus during the two-week camp and participate in classes taught by university faculty, secondary teachers and local STEM professionals. As part of the interactive, inquiry-based curriculum, campers also enjoy the added benefit of exploring local museums, nature centers and ecosystems, allowing them to discover science at work in their communities.
According to a recent study conducted by The Harris Foundation, 80 percent of camp alumni surveyed credit the program for influencing their decision to pursue higher education.
“ExxonMobil is committed to helping students strengthen their math and science capabilities,” said Suzanne McCarron, president, ExxonMobil Foundation. “These camps are one way to equip our nation’s youth with skills needed to be competitive in an increasingly global economy.”
Since 2006, the ExxonMobil Foundation and The Harris Foundation have helped nearly 6,000 students enhance their interest in science and math through the program. As part of the effort to increase interest in STEM, students also learn about the rewarding career options in these fields from local professionals — fields that will continue to need skilled workers over the next ten years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Eligible applicants must be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grades in the fall of 2012. Additional information regarding application requirements and submission instructions for each camp are available at www.theharrisfoundation.org.
In 2012, camps will be hosted at the following locations:
Central State University (Wilberforce, Ohio)
Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas)
New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, N.J.)
Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, Texas)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
Southern University (Baton Rouge, La.)
Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Weatherford, Okla.)
Temple University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The City College of New York (New York, N.Y.)
University of Alaska Anchorage (Anchorage, Alaska)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Little Rock, Ark.)
University of Houston (Houston, Texas)
University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
University of South Alabama (Mobile, Ala.)
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
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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About The Harris Foundation
Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. The foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.
The Education Mission of The Harris Foundation is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through the support of social, recreational, and educational programs. The Harris Foundation believes that students can be prepared now for the careers of the future through a structured education program and the use of positive role models. More than 15,000 students annually participate and benefit from THF programs. www.theharrisfoundation.org
About ExxonMobil Foundation
ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels.
Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic education, promote women as catalysts for economic development, and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2010, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $237 million in contributions worldwide, of which $110 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.