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

MEDIA ADVISORY: First African-American To Walk in Space Will Visit NJIT on July 14, 2010

WHO:   Bernard Harris, MD, of Houston, veteran of two space shuttle missions and the first African-American to walk in space, visits NJIT  July 14, 2010.  He’ll teach in the morning, then speak to youngsters at a luncheon.   During the class, students will design and build a straw and tin foil raft, then see how many pennies the raft can hold before sinking. It is based on Archimedes’ principle.

WHAT:  Some 55 middle school students from New Jersey and New York are participating in the two-week ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp. At the upcoming event, students will build rafts from limited supplies and face off in an intense competition. In addition, they’ll learn about science careers with ExxonMobil engineers and scientists plus hear an inspiring message from camp founder Harris. NJ students live in:  Closter, Cresskill, Dayton, Edison, East Orange, Ewing, Franklin Park, Hillsborough, Hillside, Jersey City, Kearny, Landing, Marlboro, Montclair; Newark, North Bergen, North Brunswick, Northvale, Orange, South Orange, Palisades Park, Parsippany, Paterson, Pennington, Roselle, Somerset, Stanhope, Teaneck, Tenafly, Union, Wallington, West Orange.  NY students are from: Bellmawr, Bronx, Bayside and Hartsdale.

WHEN:  Harris visits Wednesday, July 14 at 10:30 a.m. while he teaches a class. At 12:30 p.m. he’ll address students. 


WHY:  Studies show that the United States is facing a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers. To help address this crisis, former astronaut Bernard Harris and ExxonMobil are providing 30 free two-week summer camps across the country that offer innovative math and science programs to encourage middle school students to stay in school, develop their knowledge and foster their interest in engineering. 

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.