Cure for summertime blues
This summer, 50 area middle school students have been selected to participate in the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, hosted by Lamar University. Lamar was one of 30 campuses selected nationwide to host the camp. The Lamar University camp, which will take place June 7-19, aims to attract local middle school students to math and science fields.
Although the camp is currently full, interested students are free to add their name to a waiting list. Students can pick up an application, in person, from Becky Broussard in room 118 in the Education Building at Lamar from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The two-week residential camp will offer hands-on, real-world, STEM lab activities to enhance middle school students’ knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while encouraging youth to stay in school and develop their leadership potential and citizenship skills. In addition, camp programs will expose students to campus life and improve their abilities to successfully complete university programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Together, the 30 camps will reach more than 1,250 students.
“Lamar is honored to be chosen as one of the universities to host this esteemed science camp,” said Otilia Urbina, ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp executive director. “We believe this is a great opportunity to generate interest in the math and science fields among today’s youth and to prepare them to succeed in these subjects at the high school and collegiate levels. This will be a fun and exciting summer as we develop the future scientists and engineers of America and also give them a first-hand look at college life.”
Unlike most summer camps, there is no fee to attend the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp. Young people who are academically qualified, recommended by their teachers and genuinely interested in math and science can be rewarded with the opportunity to attend these fun and educational camps at no cost, Urbina said.
The students will attend daily classes in environmental science, engineering, mathematics and technology, taught by faculty from Lamar University and area school districts. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual/team projects, weekly field excursions and guest speakers who motivate the students into fulfilling their dreams.
Repeated studies have shown that the United States faces a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other mathematics- and science- literate workers. Through numerous efforts, ExxonMobil is supporting programs and organizations that focus on improving mathematics and science education from pre-school through higher education.
“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are critical elements to our nation’s economic, security and medical advancements in the 21st century and beyond. Preserving our nation as the world leader in these fields requires an investment in our youth today,” said Harris, veteran of two space shuttle missions and the first African-American to walk in space. “We are glad to extend this opportunity to Lamar University and appreciate their eagerness to support our program’s efforts in encouraging students to reach higher standards of achievement.”
Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Houston, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth initiatives. The Foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and economically and/or socially disadvantaged students, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.
For a more information about the camp, visit the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp website at www.theharrisfoundation.org or contact Urbina at (409) 880-7786.