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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

MEDIA ADVISORY: First African-American Astronaut Who Walked in Space Visits NJIT July 15

WHAT: The first African-American astronaut, Bernard Harris, ExxonMobil engineers and 52 middle school students will design and construct at NJIT small rafts of aluminum and straw designed to hold pennies. The exercise will demonstrate Archimedes’ law which explains buoyancy, or why objects seem to lose weight in water or other liquids. This principle has been applied ever since the age of Archimedes to test precious metals. NJIT is the New York metro region’s only location (of 25 around the U.S.) for Harris and the free, two-week ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

WHO: Bernard Harris, the first African-American to walk in space, NJIT instructors, Exxon-Mobil engineers and 52 students from Clifton (1); Dover (1); East Brunswick (1); East Rutherford (1); Hoboken (1); Jersey City (3); Kearny (2); Montclair (3); Morris Plains (1); Newark (22): North Bergen (4); Readington Township (1); Rockaway Township (1); Stewartsville (1); Teaneck, (1); Toms River (2); Union (1); Union City (2); West Orange (1).  NJIT will be Harris’ only New York metro appearance. Camp closes July 17, 2008. To set up photo(s) and/or in-person interview(s) with Harris and area student(s) call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.

WHEN: July 15, 2008, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.  NOTE: Program closes July 17.

WHERE: NJIT, 323 Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark

WHY: Studies show that the United States will face a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers. To address this crisis, Harris and ExxonMobil have teamed up to develop a camp offering innovative math and science programs to encourage middle school students to stay in school, develop their knowledge in these disciplines and foster their interest to eventually pursue careers in these fields. 

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.