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NCCU Hosts Summer Science Camp for Third Year


North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is hosting the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for middle-school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

NCCU is the only historically black college and university (HBCU) among the 10 sites selected for the program nationwide. Students will attend the two-week residential camp at no charge thanks to scholarship support from the Harris Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation and AT&T North Carolina.

The camp, which runs from Monday, June 19 through Friday, June 30, 2017 will provide 48 participants an opportunity to strengthen their skills in science, technology, engineering and math under the direction of college professors and science professionals. Global Health Connections International, a 501c3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., will facilitate the camp.

Students will participate in interactive, project-based workshops taught by middle school educators and NCCU faculty at the university’s Fabrication Laboratory, School of Education, Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) and the Mary Townes Science Complex. They also will gain a first-hand look at science within their communities through museum visits and other excursions that will enable the participants to meet professionals who can discuss exciting and diverse careers in STEM fields.

“NCCU is excited to host the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for a third year,” said Dr. Undi Hoffler, director of NCCU’s Research Compliance and Technology Transfer. “This is a great opportunity for students to learn about STEM in innovative learning environments on NCCU’s campus.”

Young scientists will also take part in the Mars Lander Challenge, a space-themed competition on June 28. Using household materials, teams of students will create a spacecraft capable of absorbing shock from a planetary landing. Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., camp founder and the first African-American to walk in space, will work alongside campers, offering guidance as they construct their designs.

“There is no better way to foster a love of STEM than through hands-on experiences. My goal with our camps is to foster the next generation of innovative thinkers, particularly those who may not have had significant exposure to STEM and interactive experiences like those we provide,” said Harris, who serves as president of The Harris Foundation. Since its founding, The Harris Foundation has engaged more than 12,500 youth through programs that spark science and math interests and encourage pursuit of higher education.

This summer marks the twelfth consecutive year that the ExxonMobil Foundation and The Harris Foundation have partnered to promote STEM based educational programs. This is the third year NCCU has been selected to participate in hosting this exciting camp. The theme for 2017 is “Preparing for My Future: One STEM at A Time.”

The Harris Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization based in Houston, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. The foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and the economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and to pursue their dreams. For more information, visit www.theharrisfoundation.org.

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