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

He's Back at NJIT: Bernard Harris, the First African-American To Walk in Space

The first African-American to walk in space returns to the NJIT campus on July 19, 2011 to inspire 55 middle-school students from throughout New Jersey (47) and New York City (8) to seek a career in science. The event will launch the free, two-week ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp (EMBHSSC) for middle-school students. Bernard Harris, MD, of Houston, veteran of two space shuttle missions and founder of the camp, will assist students in a hands-on activity led by the EMBHSSC staff and representatives from ExxonMobil Corporation, Clinton.

Teachers are calling this year’s activity the space suit challenge. Students will investigate how an object’s kinetic energy affects the impact it has upon a surface. Students will work in teams to make and test a durable space suit sample capable of withstanding the impact of micrometeoroids.

ATTENTION EDITORS: Don’t miss Harris.  He’s a great champion of science education and an inspiration.  He’ll teach the class at approximately 10:30 a.m.  At 12:30 p.m., he will address students.  NJIT is the only college campus in the New York metropolitan region to offer the program.

See students happily participating in a fun and exciting science adventure, and who are excited to learn more about science careers from ExxonMobil engineers and scientists. The piece de resistance is always Harris, who, following lunch, speaks from the heart for 30 minutes about how he became interested in science and why students should too. 

The program is based on studies showing that the US faces a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers. To help address this crisis, Harris and ExxonMobil provide 30 free two-week summer camps across the country.  The camps offer innovative math and science programs to encourage middle-school students to develop their knowledge and foster their interest in engineering and other areas in science.  

New Jersey students are from: Bayonne, Belvidere, Bergenfield, Butler, Camden, Carteret, Cranford, East Orange, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Forked River, Fort Lee, Great Meadows, Harrison, Haskell, Hoboken, Jersey City, Kearny, Lodi, Mercerville, Metuchen, Montclair, Newark, North Bergen, Old Bridge, Orange, Pemberton, Piscataway, Plainfield, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Somerset, Teaneck, West Orange and Willingboro. 

New York students are from: Brooklyn, Forest Hills, Hollis and Manhattan.

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.