Young minds hone math and science skills at ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Alaska middle school students participate in two-week residential camp

Fifty four middle school students, from both rural Alaska and the Anchorage area, are spending two weeks of their summer break participating in the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp (EMBHSSC) at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), hosted by the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP). From July 18-30, campers will delve into relevant topics such as wildlife biology, energy, clean water and engineering as they learn about exciting career opportunities available to them through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Dr. Bernard Harris, a former astronaut, was the first African American to walk in space. Dr. Harris and ExxonMobil have partnered since 2006 to provide the two-week residential camp free of charge to underserved middle school students at 30 college campuses across the country.

"ExxonMobil is committed to engaging the next generation of creative minds, thinkers and developers who will keep the United States competitive," said Suzanne McCarron, president of ExxonMobil Foundation. "By partnering with Dr. Harris, we are able to reach talented students and provide them with an experience that could lead them to pursue a career in math, science, engineering or technology."

Campers are taught by university faculty, attend daily classes in natural science, engineering, mathematics and technology and enjoy activities including classroom study, experiments, individual and team projects, weekly field excursions and inspirational guest speakers. As part of their educational experience, the campers also work side-by-side with engineers and other professionals who are accomplished in their chosen technology related careers.

"We are excited to host our first ever ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp," said Mike Bourdukofsky, EMBHSSC Executive Director. "ANSEP has always felt the need to engage students in STEM early in their educational careers. We would like to thank ExxonMobil and The Harris Foundation for inviting us to join their quest to empower students with STEM."

On Friday morning, July 30, campers will participate in an "ExxonMobil Media Day," which will be held in the ANSEP Building on the UAA campus. Dr. Harris will meet, interact and participate in a group activity (Raft Rally) with the campers. The students will also be showing displays of their group projects to everyone in attendance, including parents, ExxonMobil representatives and the professionals who helped make this camp possible.

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

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