NASA Astro­naut Bernard Harris to Visit Campers on Wednesday, July 9

BOSTON – July 1, 2008 – Forty eight Boston-​​area stu­dents will call North­eastern Uni­ver­sity their home for two weeks this summer when they take part in the Exxon­Mobil Bernard Harris Summer Sci­ence Pro­gram. Open to middle school stu­dents with a strong interest in math and sci­ence, this pro­gram pro­vides them the oppor­tu­nity to work along­side North­eastern fac­ulty, staff and stu­dents on projects aimed at increasing their knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence in the areas of sci­ence, tech­nology, engi­neering and math­e­matics (STEM). This free pro­gram runs in more than 25 uni­ver­si­ties across the country, and North­eastern is the only campus in New Eng­land selected to host the program.

Former NASA astro­naut, Bernard Harris, Jr., M.D., the Pres­i­dent of the Harris Foun­da­tion, will be vis­iting Northeastern’s campers on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 between 10 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. ET. The stu­dents will have the oppor­tu­nity to meet Dr. Harris and Al Sacco, Pro­fessor of Chem­ical Engi­neering at North­eastern and a former NASA Astro­naut, as they learn about space explo­ration. Two engi­neers from Exxon­Mo­bile will also be on hand during the day on July 9.

Below is a schedule of events for Wednesday, July 9:

  • 9 a.m.– Raft Rally – Cabral Center, O’Bryant African-American Institute, 40 Leon Street, Boston, MA
  • 10:00 a.m.– Flight Presentation and Discussion with Al Sacco and Dr. Bernard Harris at the Cabral Center, O’Bryant African-American Institute, 40 Leon Street
  • 11 – 11:30 a.m.– Intro to Bottle Rockets at the Cabral Center, O’Bryant African-American Institute, 40 Leon Street
  • 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.– Bottle rocket building at the Cabral Center, O’Bryant African-American Institute, 40 Leon Street
  • 3:15 p.m. – Bottle Rocket Launch – The Fenway football field (The Fens – Park Drive)

Harris, who is working for the third year with Exxon­Mobil to deliver these camping pro­grams to aca­d­e­m­i­cally qual­i­fied stu­dents, hopes that pro­grams like this help spark an interest in these stu­dents to pursue careers in sci­ence and tech­nology fields. This years’ pro­gram will reach more than 1,200 stu­dents, up from 900 last year, based on such a high demand for stu­dents to be able to attend.

The goal of the camps is to give stu­dents a first-​​hand look at how fun it can be to under­stand the won­ders of how math and sci­ence play a role in the elec­tronics that they enjoy most every day,” said Harris.

During the two weeks, stu­dents will work indi­vid­u­ally and in groups in Northeastern’s state of the art lab space housed in the Col­leges of Engi­neering and Arts & Sci­ences. Fac­ulty, staff, grad­uate and under­grad­uate stu­dents will pro­vide men­tor­ship for the campers both during and after the summer pro­gram, encour­aging stu­dents to develop their skill sets in the areas of STEM subjects.

The camp focuses pri­marily on intro­ducing stu­dents to engi­neering and sci­ence through hands-​​on activ­i­ties and demon­stra­tions. Stu­dents will work on projects related to civil, bio­med­ical and elec­trical engi­neering, as well as many other areas. Activ­i­ties include building and launching bottle rockets, studying microbes under a micro­scope, building and testing a bridge and working with nanopar­ti­cles. They will also hear from pro­fes­sors about cur­rent issues for their gen­er­a­tion, pro­moting the impor­tance of STEM education.

North­eastern is hon­ored to be the one campus in New Eng­land chosen to host the Bernard Harris Summer Sci­ence Pro­gram for the second year in a row,” explained Claire Duggan, Asso­ciate Director for Northeastern’s Center for STEM Edu­ca­tion and Co-​​Executive Director of the camping pro­gram at North­eastern. “This pro­vides such a great oppor­tu­nity for stu­dents to learn from experts and to develop the con­fi­dence and skills nec­es­sary to suc­ceed in the areas of STEM.”

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity was selected as a camp host because of its long-​​standing com­mit­ment to math and sci­ence edu­ca­tion and its efforts to sup­port and pro­mote local com­mu­nity youth in these dis­ci­plines. For more infor­ma­tion about the Exxon­Mobil Bernard Harris Summer Sci­ence Pro­grams, please visit www​.the​har​ris​foun​da​tion​.org

For more infor­ma­tion about Northeastern’s involve­ment with STEM edu­ca­tion, please con­tact Jenny Eriksen at (617) 373‑2802 or via email at j.​eriksen@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.