Former astronaut Bernard Harris and the ExxonMobil Foundation have named New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to be among 19 university campus locations that will host the 2007 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps. NJIT will be the only New Jersey participant in the program.
The two-week residential summer camps offer innovative programs which enhance middle-school students' knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while encouraging youth to stay in school and fostering leadership and citizenship. Each university will host one camp, except the University of Houston, which will be home to two camps. Together, the 20 camps will reach more than 1,000 students.
"The Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp is a fine addition and good complement to the successful programs that the Center for Pre-College Programs at NJIT has been running for more than 30 years,” said John Carpinelli, PhD, director of NJIT’s Center for Pre-College Programs. “The Bernard Harris Foundation clearly thought well of our past efforts and has confidence that we will run a successful program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students this summer. We look forward to working with the Harris Foundation to offer an outstanding program."
The program will award NJIT an $80,000 grant to host this two-week, residential program for 48 rising middle-school male and female campers. The youngsters will live on the NJIT campus July 15-31, 2007, from Mondays through Thursdays to attend classes. Fridays and weekends, they will return home. Curriculum details are not yet available. Classroom teachers will recommend qualified candidates.
During camp, the students will attend daily classes in natural science, engineering, mathematics and technology, and will be taught by the faculty of the participating universities and secondary classroom teachers. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual/team/group projects, weekly field excursions and guest speakers who motivate the students into fulfilling their dreams.
Studies have shown that the United States will face a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers in the near future. To help address the nation's math and science crisis, this summer program is committed to supporting programs and organizations that focus on improving math and science education from pre-school through higher education.
"Last year we were struck by the number of qualified applicants for fewer than 100 slots in our two camps in Houston and Oklahoma," said Harris, veteran of two space shuttle missions and the first African-American to conduct a space walk. "This year, with ExxonMobil's support, we will expand to universities and colleges across the country to give more talented students the opportunity to participate in the summer camp experience."
For more information about campus activities, student eligibility and selection criteria, please visit the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp website at www.theharrisfoundation.org.