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DSU Hosts ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Camp

Friday, August 28, 2009


June 24, 2009

Delaware State University served as the site for the June 14–26 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp June 14–26, a science and math enrichment program for middle school students.
The two-week camp—co-sponsored by the astronaut’s Harris Foundation and Exxon Mobil—was designed to provide middle school students from Delaware with a fun-filled setting to give them a greater understanding of science, technology, mathematics and engineering, as well as information about exciting careers in science.

Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., a NASA space shuttle astronaut, came to DSU on June 23 to work with the students and speak to them about the importance of science and technology education.

“Whatever your dream is, start working on it now,” Dr. Harris told the students, who all attend middle schools in Delaware.

The participating students spent the mornings, afternoon and early evening learning biology, chemistry, physiology, physics and math. The subjects were taught under the theme of human survival, and students were given projects that were based on math, science and technology that would aid them in the wilderness.

During media day on June 23, the students were challenged to construct a raft out of foil and drinking straws. The winning team’s raft was able to stay afloat while carrying the weight of more than 200 pennies.

Dr. Bernard Harris spends some time at DSU  on June 23 giving the summer camp kids the benefit of his engineering and science knowledge.

Dr. Harris was at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. Later, as head of the Exercise Countermeasure Project, he conducted clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend astronaut stays in space.

Selected into the Astronaut Corps in January 1990, Dr. Harris was a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-55/Spacelab D-2 in 1993. As payload commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, he served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space.” A veteran astronaut for over nineteen years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.