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Steve Chaplin
University Communications

Paul Edwards
IU Camp Program Director

Last modified: Monday, March 9, 2009

IU named site for ExxonMobil science summer camp for under-represented

March 9, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Sustainability will be the theme for a free two-week summer camp at Indiana University designed to stimulate interest in the sciences in under-represented middle school students.

Indiana University will be among 30 universities and institutes hosting an ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp this year. In all, more than 1,500 students will take part in camps this year that will explore themes such as "Mission to Mars," "Revolutionary Robotics" and "Energy and Motion."

ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

"Understanding Sustainability from the Ground Up: The World of Water" is the theme adopted by IU this year. Designed to introduce students to the concept of sustainability, the program will focus attention on water as a natural resource that young students are likely to take for granted. The overall objective for the students is to develop a deeper understanding of the human impact on the environment while exposing them to science, technology, engineering and math, according to Edwin Marshall, IU vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs.

"We must commit to educating our youth in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines in early grades to engage and retain student interest in these disciplines through college and career exploration and development," said Marshall, who will also serve as the IU camp's executive director. "The IU camp represents a substantial continuing commitment to helping students pursue science and math careers."

The two-week camps are designed to provide a fun-filled setting for students to gain a deeper understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to promote exciting careers in science. To apply to attend the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps, students must be academically qualified, genuinely interested in mathematics and science and be recommended by two teachers.

Harris, a former NASA astronaut and the first African American to walk in space, created the camps four years ago with support from ExxonMobil. Students attend daily classes in natural science, engineering, mathematics and technology, taught by IU faculty and participating secondary classroom teachers. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual, team and group projects, weekly field excursions and guest speakers who motivate students to fulfill their dreams.

"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."

To learn more about the July 12-24 Indiana University ExxonMobile Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, contact Paul Edwards, camp program director, Bryan Hall 115, 107 S. Indiana Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405, 812-856-5700, Information about student eligibility and selection criteria can be found at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp Web site at and the deadline to apply is April 24.

Participants for the IU camp will be selected from the Indianapolis Public Schools System and neighborhood churches with extension education programs, cultural centers and community organizations, such as the statewide Indiana Black Expo Youth and Family Programs Department and the Indianapolis Center for Leadership Development.

To speak with camp Program Director Edwards or camp Executive Director Marshall, please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896 or For more information about the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science camps, please contact national program director Barbara Foots at 713-877-8669 or