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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Welcomes Bernard Harris, the First African-American To Walk in Space

Bernard Harris, MD, the first African-American to walk in space returns to NJIT July 18, 2012 to inspire 54 middle school youngsters from New Jersey who want to learn more about science careers.  The event launches the free, two-week ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp (EMBHSSC) for middle- school students, now in its sixth year at NJIT.  Harris, of Houston, veteran of two space shuttle missions and camp founder will assist students in a hands-on activity led by EMBHSSC staff and ExxonMobil Corp., Clinton, representatives.

Harris will help students investigate how an object’s kinetic energy affects the impact it has upon a surface.  Students, working in teams, will make and test a durable space suit sample capable of withstanding the impact of micrometeoroids.

ATTENTION EDITORS:   Harris, an inspirational champion of science education,   teaches the class at approximately 10:30 a.m.  At 12:30 p.m., he will address the students.  

See students participate in a fun and exciting science adventure, plus learn more about science careers from ExxonMobil engineers and scientists.  Following lunch Harris will describe how and why he grew interested in science and why students should too. 

The program is based on studies which show that the US faces a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers. To help address this crisis, Harris and ExxonMobil sponsor 20 two-week summer camps across the country.  The camps offer innovative math and science programs to encourage middle-school students to develop their knowledge and foster their interest in engineering and other areas in science.  

New Jersey students are from: Bayonne, Belvidere, Bergenfield, Butler, Camden, Carteret, Cranford, East Orange, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Forked River, Fort Lee, Great Meadows, Harrison, Haskell, Hoboken, Jersey City, Kearny, Lodi, Mercerville, Metuchen, Montclair, Newark, North Bergen, Old Bridge, Orange, Pemberton, Piscataway, Plainfield, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Somerset, Teaneck, West Orange and Willingboro. 

One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,400 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.