MEDIA ADVISORY: Request for Coverage

Media Day: ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

June 25 at Texas A&M University, College Station

WHO: Fifty middle school students from throughout Central Texas, including Bryan, College Station, Hearne, Snook, Caldwell, Somerville, Madisonville, Franklin and Iola; astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African American to walk in space; ExxonMobil and Texas A&M University officials.

WHAT: Media Day for the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp – an interactive math and science camp for middle school youth.. The camp, from June 19-28 on the Texas A&M University campus, is presented by ExxonMobil and The Harris Foundation, and is implemented in collaboration with Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Education and Human Development and School of Rural Public Health. During the camp, middle school science and math students engage in hands-on activities, receive instruction and take educational field trips. The theme for the camp is “One Health: Ensuring the health of humans, animals and the ecosystem,” and it is provided free of charge for limited-resource or underserved children.

During Media Day, Harris will discuss his experience at NASA as well as the extreme conditions he encountered during two shuttle missions. He also will oversee a Space Day Challenge activity during which campers will design durable spacesuit swatches using household materials.

WHERE: Room 2406 of the Memorial Student Center, Texas A&M University campus, College Station.

WHEN: From 9-11 a.m. June 25. Media opportunities include interviews with Harris and ExxonMobil and Texas A&M officials, as well as participating students. Visuals include speaker presentations and the camper space suit design activity with Harris.

WHY: The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp is being hosted by 20 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. from June-August. Through these camps, The Harris Foundation in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation provides middle school students the opportunity to enhance their proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM education, while living on a college campus.

Campers complete a minimum of 54 hours of advanced study taught by educators from area school districts and university faculty. The curriculum is supplemented with field excursions and other educational experiences to help students develop a better understanding of the relationship between class work and the real world.

Communication and teamwork are integral parts of the students’ camp experience. And evening sessions provide opportunities for discussion of students’ academic, career and social issues. Students also engage in an array of extracurricular activities.

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