Last modified: Monday, April 13, 2009
IU to host free two-week science camp for under-represented youth
Media Advisory: IU launches inaugural ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2009
WHAT: Indiana University will host a free two-week ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for underrepresented middle school students to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
WHERE: Indiana University Bloomington
WHEN: July 12-24
WHO: Contact Camp Program Director Paul Edwards at 812-856-5700 or email@example.com.
"Understanding Sustainability from the Ground Up: The World of Water"
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- This summer, Indiana University will host a free two-week ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for underrepresented middle school students to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Science and math are among the most powerful tools for understanding and improving the world. Yet, according to a Congressional task force study, the United States will have a shortage of more than 500,000 scientists and engineers by the year 2010.
The National Science Board estimates that the United States will need an additional 1.9 million science workers in the next 10 years. Without those workers, the economy may continue to suffer, and Americans may face a lower standard of living. At this critical juncture in the nation's history, a commitment must be made to educate youth in the STEM disciplines in the early grades, according to IU's Edwin Marshall, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.
"This effort is even more crucial for historically underrepresented students," Marshall added.
African Americans make up 6.2 percent of scientists and engineers, well below the 10.7 percent they represent in the workforce, according to the Commission on Professions in Science and Technology. Of the 3.4 million scientists and engineers employed in traditional science and engineering occupations, only about 10,000 (0.3 percent) were Native Americans. The National Center for Educational Statistics found that Latinos account for only 3 percent of U.S. scientists and engineers, even though they represent 14 percent of the population.
Designed to introduce students to the concept of sustainability, the IU Summer Science Camp will focus attention on water as a natural resource that young students are likely to take for granted. The camp will provide a fun-filled setting for students to gain a deeper understanding of the STEM disciplines and to learn about exciting careers in science. Student applicants must be academically qualified, genuinely interested in mathematics and science, and be recommended by two teachers.
Student applications are due May 18 and are available on the IU Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp Web site. The camp is also recruiting experienced teachers and counselors. Staff applications are due May 15. All applications are available on the Web site: www.indiana.edu/~dema/bhssc.shtml.
Harris, a former NASA astronaut and the first African American to walk in space, created the camps four years ago with support from ExxonMobil. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual, team and group projects, weekly field excursions and guest speakers who offer guidance in college preparation and careers.
"The success of this program is due to the support from ExxonMobil and our partnership with renowned universities like Indiana University," Harris said. "It's rewarding to realize how many kids we can reach by providing a new and fun experience involving science while raising awareness about math and science careers."
The Summer Science Camp is the latest in a series of successful initiatives to help inspire students to pursue STEM careers. IU also hosts the HBCU STEM Summer Scholars Institute, a partnership with historically black colleges and universities. Several camp activities will take advantage of this synergy and opportunities for mentoring. Students will attend Indiana Black Summer Expo and will receive follow-up instruction in Saturday Institutes throughout the school year.
For more information, please contact Paul Edwards, camp program director at 812-856-5700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about student eligibility and selection criteria can also be found at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp Web site: www.theharrisfoundation.org/programs/summersciencecamp/index.htm.