ExxonMobile Bernard Harris Summer Camp at SWOSU


If Einstein could have picked a summer camp, he would have opted for the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp. An exciting two-week adventure filled with field excursions and science experiments, the summer camp proves that math and science can entertain a crew of youngsters and help them brush up on their studies over the summer months.

As a component of the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp that Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford is hosting, camp participants are gearing up for a special “ExxonMobil Day,” which will be held at the school’s Memorial Student Center Ballroom on July 26.

The 48 selected students attending this science camp are Anadarko—Cameron Hill, Michaela Porter and Coty Tomagos; Apache—Ryker Gee; Cache—Jordan Wicker; Carter-–Ty Normand,; Clinton—Timika Bell, April Casas, Liliana Casas, Jessica Cifuentes, Aaliyah Crenshaw, Frashon Ford, Amanda Greear, Minnie Hadley, River Hill, Erinn Hutchinson, Darlene Martinez, Melissa Melton, Tiona Murphy, Allison Myers, Jacob Resendez, Kenyell Robinson, Ta’Von Robinson, Mallori Smith, Matt Thomas and Brittney Washington; Elk City—Sebastian Schmitz; El Reno—Taylor Hart and Shantaya Littlesun; Enid—John Bradshaw and John Austin Bradshaw; Frederick—Alexander Reyes; Hammon—Ta’ah Williams; Mustang—Clayton Gepford, Dae-Kun Heo and Orlando Neal; Oklahoma City—Cameron Kirk, Que’Ano Ward and Drew Webb; Pocasset—Murphy Douglas; Shawnee—Meg Reeder; Taloga—Jesse Fishinghawk; Thomas—Drake Drinnon and Caleb Stillwell; Watonga—Aaron Fauchier, Wyatt Johnson and Dionte Walker; Weatherford—Morgan Bowmaker, Elaine Esjornson, Colby King, Tucker Mullins, Niki Strauch and Kevin Walker.

These students will spend time with ExxonMobil engineers and scientists as they conduct hands-on experiments, participate in highly interactive demonstrations, and receive an insider’s look at engineering and other science careers.

According to a Congressional task force study, the United States will have a shortage of more than 500,000 engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers by the year 2010. The study states that it is essential for the United States to start educating youth in the math and science fields at an early enough age to engage and retain their interest in these disciplines through college and future careers.

In an ongoing effort to address this issue, former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris and ExxonMobil have partnered for the second year to provide academically-enriching summer camps to middle school youth.

“With a critical shortage in the nation’s technically-trained workforce, ExxonMobil’s commitment to math and science is not limited to investing in these programs with funding, but also through our engineers and scientists serving as role models and making personal connections with these students,” said Gerald McElvy, president ExxonMobil Foundation. “We hope that these camps will foster the students’ fundamental interests while educating them about promising career opportunities associated with these disciplines, so that we may encourage and inspire future generations to be proficient in math and science.”

This year, the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps expanded from two to 20 camps at colleges and universities across the nation. The camps, which are free of charge, are offered to local middle school students who are academically qualified, recommended by their teachers and genuinely interested in math and science.“

The expansion of the camps was a direct result of high demand from students who wanted to attend last year’s camps,” said Dr. Harris, veteran of two space shuttle missions and the first African American to conduct a space walk. “There is a whole segment of the younger generation who are seeking opportunities to expand their minds through scientific study. The key is to nurture that interest and thirst for knowledge through innovative and exciting activities, therefore cementing in the students a commitment to these disciplines.”

“SWOSU is honored for the opportunity to host this year’s ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp,” said Dr. Wayne Trail, camp director. “Already we have seen incredible enthusiasm and interest from our campers, sparked by the connection between the exciting, interactive experiments and field excursions and the core curriculum taught by our highly qualified and motivated teachers.”

Southwestern Oklahoma State University was selected as a camp host because of its long-standing commitment to math and science education and its efforts to support and promote local community youth in these disciplines. For more information about the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps, please visit www.theharrisfoundation.org.

About The Harris Foundation

Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation (THF) is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization based in Houston Texas, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. THF supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.

The Education Mission of the Harris Foundation is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through the support of social, recreational, and educational programs for grades K-12. Through two primary initiatives -- the Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and Dare to Dream -- the Foundation encourages math and science education, motivates youth to stay in school, fosters youth leadership and citizenship, as well as instills the values of responsibility, fairness and respect. To date, more than 2,500 K-12 students have participated and benefited from THF programs. www.theharrisfoundation.org

About ExxonMobil Foundation

ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic education and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries.  In 2006, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $139 million in contributions worldwide, with $54 million dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at http://www.exxonmobil.com/community.