Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program, along with 29 other campuses across the country, to inspire middle school students to pursue science and mathematics careers. The two-week science camp will be a free-of-charge experience.
FAMU was chosen out of 65 university applicants to participate this year in this summer program.
From June 13 through June 26, students will attend daily classes in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics and technology. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual, team and group projects, weekly field excursions and motivational guest speakers.
“When you look at careers you’ll always find that the top five jobs are based in mathematics and science,” said Decatur Rogers, executive camp director.
The students also will participate in three science fairs during the two-week camp. They will be grouped and judged by volunteers.
“We hope to leave them with wanting to learn more,” said Rogers. “We certainly need more of our youth to become professionals and involved in discussions regarding fossil fuel and the water we drink.”
The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp is the largest of its kind in the nation. Students that participate are usually from urban areas and referred by teachers based on leadership skills and science and mathematic aptitude.
“We are interested in reaching inner city communities,” said Bernard Harris, an accomplished NASA astronaut, physician and businessman. “We want to enhance students’ education and prepare them for the future.”
Harris is the first African American to walk in space.
Currently, Harris serves as president of The Harris Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization he founded in 1998 to develop math/science education and crime prevention programs for America’s youth.
Interested students will need to submit a completed application along with a letter of recommendation from their science and math teachers and an essay that explains why they want to attend the science camp. The application deadline is May 6.
Since 2006, nearly 4,000 students from across the country have attended ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Camps. This year, more than 1,500 students will attend in the free science camp nationwide.
The ExxonMobil Foundation, which supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels, has teamed with The Harris Foundation for the past five years. The Harris Foundation mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. Through both foundations’ mission the science camp is able to serve students in the City of Tallahassee area.
“We are excited that FAMU is going to be a part of this camp this year,” said Harris. “We are really selective with the schools that we chose to be a part of this camp.”