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Release Date: Friday, June 24, 2011 4:09 PM
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Media Contacts:
Kerry-Ann Hamilton

Jo-Ann English
Howard Prepares Future Scientists with Camp for Middle School Students
Dr. Bernard Harris engages students about the critical role of science during a visit to Howard University. - Photo by Kerry-Ann Hamilton

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2011) –  Washington-area middle school students are curing the summer “brain drain” this year with a heavy dose of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fun at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp hosted by Howard University School of Engineering Architecture and Computer Sciences. The hands-on program offers students an exciting way to beat the heat as they design space suits, build rockets and more while experiencing life on a college campus.

The two-week all-expenses-paid residential camp encourages interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education through experiments through field excursions, teamwork exercises and academic counseling sessions. The camp is offered, June 26-July 8, is free to students who are high academic achievers and genuinely interested in math and science.

“Summer learning opportunities are crucial to continued academic success,” Dr. Harris said. “In partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, we are able to offer students a tremendous opportunity to hone the math, science, communications and leadership skills needed to realize their full potential. Our goal is to inspire them to reach beyond the classroom and pursue careers in critical technology fields.”

For the sixth consecutive year, the ExxonMobil Foundation has collaborated with Harris and his nonprofit organization, The Harris Foundation, to provide residential camps to underrepresented and underserved middle school students at 25 universities across the country. This is the fifth year Howard has participated in the program.

“We have seen this experience positively impact youth in our community, and look forward to witnessing our students’ dramatic growth as they gain valuable knowledge and a passion for math and science this summer,” said Dr. Lawanda Peace, Associate Dean and director of the Howard’s ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp. “At Howard University, we understand the important role STEM programs such as these play in preparing students for the high-tech careers of tomorrow.”

The demand for workers with strong math and science skills is significant, as eight out of 10 of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation are in STEM fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The camp program aims to fill this critical need by offering a curriculum that features hands-on experiments, team competitions and field excursions to help students build essential skills. Campers receive quality instruction from local educators and hear from ExxonMobil engineers about the exciting and rewarding aspects of their profession.

For more information, please visit the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp website at

About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, Doctoral/Research-Extensive university, comprising 12 schools and colleges with 10,500 students enjoying academic pursuits in more than 120 areas of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, 21 Fulbright Scholars and 10 Pickering Fellows. The University continues to attract the nation’s top students and produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information, visit the University's Web site at

About ExxonMobil Foundation
ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States.  The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. 

In 2010, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $237 million in contributions worldwide, of which more than $110 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at

About The Harris Foundation
Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas, whose overall mission is to invest in the community through innovative education, health and wealth programs. The foundation supports programs that empower individuals and their communities, in particular minorities and economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to develop and pursue their dreams.

The Education Mission of the Harris Foundation is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through the support of social, recreational, and educational programs. The Harris Foundation believes that students can be prepared now for the careers of the future through structured education programs and the use of positive role models.  More than 10,000 K-12 students participate and benefit from THF programs annually.  

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