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Summer Science Camp

Last modified: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

IU to host free ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for middle school students

March 11, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University, in partnership with the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, will host a free summer science camp July 11-23 for students entering grades 6, 7 and 8 (currently in grades 5, 6 and 7).

"Understanding Sustainability from the Ground Up: The World of Water" will introduce middle school-age students to the concept of sustainability by focusing their attention on water, a resource many may take for granted. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the human impact on the environment while being exposed to exciting careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Middle school students took a break from water testing last year during the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp hosted by Indiana University. The camp returns to IU Bloomington from July 11-23.

Students will attend daily classes in natural science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, all taught by qualified instructors. Activities will also include laboratory experiments, group projects, field excursions, and guest speakers who will offer guidance in college preparation and career choices. On-campus housing in an IU residence hall, all meals, and all other camp costs will be provided free of charge.

Edwin Marshall, IU vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (DEMA), said IU was continuing its commitment to host the camp as part of an ongoing effort to encourage youth toward careers in science and math.

"Our overall objective is for the students to develop a deeper understanding of the human impact on the environment while exposing them to science, technology, engineering and math," said Marshall. The camp is administered through DEMA and Vicki Roberts, associate vice president for DEMA, will serve as the executive director of the 2010 camp.

Bernard A. Harris Jr., the first African American to walk in space, and ExxonMobil expect more than 1,500 middle school students to participate in the free science camps this summer that will take place at 30 universities across the country.

"Much in my life has changed since that historic day (Feb. 9, 1995, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery), but one constant is my passion to make a difference with today's students, especially kids who have similar backgrounds to mine," Harris said. "This year's summer science camps will give students a chance to learn about mathematics and science, more about themselves and about life on a college campus. Most importantly, campers learn that they have the power to achieve their dreams whatever they may be."

The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program is the largest of its kind in the nation and offers a two-week, free-of-charge experience. Students typically come from urban districts around the country and are recommended by their teachers based on leadership skills and science and mathematics aptitude.

"ExxonMobil shares Dr. Harris's passion for math and science education," said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp. "These camps help students explore beyond their horizons to encourage a life-long love of math and science and a better future."

Since 2006, almost 4,000 students from across the country have attended ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps.

At camp, students attend daily classes in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics and technology, taught by faculty of participating universities and secondary classroom teachers, who receive professional development training. Activities include classroom study; experiments' individual, team and group projects' weekly field excursions and motivational guest speakers.

The deadline for student applications is April 9. The deadline for staff applications (counselors, teachers, nurses) is April 30.

More information about student eligibility and selection criteria can be found at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp Web site: For a description of the IU camp and information on how to apply as either a student or staff member, visit For more information, contact the camp by phone at 812-856-5700 (ask for "Summer Science Camp") or email