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ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

Twenty years ago, Dr. Bernard Harris Jr. made history when he stepped out of the space shuttle Discovery and became the first African American to walk in space.  On that day, Dr. Harris set a course for youngsters everywhere to follow his example of what people can achieve through dedication, commitment and a thirst for learning.

Today, he continues his trailblazing ways, and ExxonMobil is a proud partner with Dr. Harris on his Earthly mission – to inspire middle-school students about the possibilities of math and science and where education can take them – if they dare to dream.

Through the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps, underserved middle school students across the country receive exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and get a first-hand look at life on a college campus. The two-week, all-expenses paid camps are held at 20 universities across the country.

Supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation, the program celebrates STEM academic excellence and encourages an out-of-this-world opportunity alongside Dr. Harris. This unique experience also includes mentoring from ExxonMobil engineers and scientists, who serve as “Rock Stars of STEM” providing real-world connections to classroom instruction and potential careers. Campers also have the opportunity to explore local museums and nature centers − discovering science within their communities.  And, they take part in daily STEM interactive, inquiry-based classes taught by university faculty.

Since 2006, the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program has reached more than 9,500 underrepresented middle-schoolers, and its impact has extended well beyond the camp experience. According to a 2013 Harris Foundation study of camp alumni, 84 percent of graduating high school participants credit the camp for impacting their decision to take STEM related Honors, Pre-AP and/or AP classes in high school, 96 percent plan to go to college and 86 percent plan to pursue a STEM-related career.