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College of Science News

UTA among hosts for Bernard Harris Camp

UT Arlington will serve as one of 30 host universities nationwide for the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program. The announcement came February 9, the 15th anniversary of Dr. Bernard Harris Jr. becoming the first African-American to walk in space during a flight aboard space shuttle Discovery on Feb. 9, 1995.

UT Arlington's camp is scheduled for July 18-30. A mandatory orientation session will be held 2-4 p.m. Saturday, June 5. The camp will include 48 students, who will spend the two weeks on campus and will be housed in a campus dormitory.

"We look forward to having these bright young students on our campus and engaging them and getting them excited about science," said Pamela Jansma, College of Science dean. "It's a great way to help kids develop their interest in science and math, and we're proud to be a part of this program."

The camps are organized to provide activities, experiments, projects, and field experiences for students entering 6th, 7th, or 8th grade in Fall 2010. The camp promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and supports historically underserved and underrepresented students with limited opportunities. Students attend the camp free of charge. Students currently in grades 5, 6, or 7 who have an interest in science and mathematics and at least a B average in science and mathematics are eligible.

More than 1,500 middle school students nationwide will participate. The camps include daily classes in the natural sciences, engineering, math and technology, taught by faculty of participating universities and

secondary classroom teachers who receive professional development training. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual, team and group projects, weekly field excursions and motivational guest speakers.

"Much in my life has changed since that historic day, but one constant is my passion to make a difference with today's students, especially kids who have similar backgrounds to mine," Harris said in a news release. "This year's summer science camps will give students a chance to learn about mathematics and science, more about themselves and about life on a college campus. Most importantly, campers learn that they have the power to achieve their dreams whatever they may be."

Other Texas universities serving as hosts this year are Lamar University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Houston and UT Pan American.

The camp is a program of The Harris Foundation, which takes an active role in shaping education in students entering grades 6-8 in the fall of 2009. The program was originally developed as a collaborative effort of the Harris Foundation, Houston Independent School District, the University of Houston and Southwestern Oklahoma State University, designed to support historically underserved and underrepresented students with limited opportunities.

For more information and to download the application form, go to: http://www.uta.edu/cos/sciencecamp/exxon.html