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LU tapped site for 2017 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

Lamar University has been selected as one of 10 sites nationally to host a 2017 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

The two-week residential all-expense-paid camps for aspiring innovators, scientists and engineers are held on college campuses across the country for middle-school students. Now in its 12th year, the ExxonMobil Foundation and Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., the first African American to walk in space, sponsor the camps to encourage science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Dr. Bernard Harris Jr. Applications are now available for middle school students aspiring to study STEM topics and experience college life as the same time.

“STEM careers offer wonderful opportunities and open doors for students who choose them. The camps serve to encourage and inspire the creativity and enthusiasm in students who are interested in STEM,” said Dr. Harris, president of the Harris Foundation. “My goal with the camps is to empower the next generation of innovative thinkers, particularly those who may be socio-economically disadvantaged and have limited exposure to available options for careers in STEM.”

The camps are sponsored through a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, the primary philanthropic arm of the ExxonMobil Corporation.

“We are delighted to host the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at Lamar University again this year,” said Tela Urbina, executive director of the camp at LU and research assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development. “The camp makes learning fun and is an opportunity of a lifetime for students who might otherwise not consider careers in the STEM fields. We are grateful to Dr. Harris and the ExxonMobil Foundation for making this camp possible.”

“ExxonMobil thrives on creativity and ingenuity to remain a strong global competitor, and building our next generation workforce is of critical importance to the company,” said Ben Soraci, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “Dr. Harris is an outstanding role model, and his camps provide a vital opportunity for students to experience STEM, problem-solving and teamwork in action.”

While living on a college campus for two weeks, these future innovators will have an all-expenses paid STEM learning experience and mentorship from Dr. Harris and ExxonMobil engineers. Students will also participate in interactive, project-based classes, meet university faculty and students, and learn from secondary school teachers and STEM educators. Other offerings include experiments, museum visits and hands-on learning opportunities.

Since its inception in 2006, the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps have served more than 12,583 students at colleges across the country.

This year’s university hosts are in Alaska, Arkansas, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Eligible applicants must be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grades in the fall of 2017.

Additional information regarding application requirements and camp-specific submission instructions can be found at