Aspiring Innovators, Scientists and Engineers Wanted for the 2017 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps

  • Middle-school students encouraged to apply to camps held on college campuses across the country
  • Activities encourage science, technology, engineering and math education
  • Two-week, all-expenses paid residential offerings designed to reach promising students

HOUSTON--()--For the 12th consecutive year, ExxonMobil Foundation and Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., the first African American to walk in space, will sponsor summer science camps at colleges across the United States. Applications are now open for middle school students aspiring to study science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) while experiencing life in college.

“My goal with the camps is to empower the next generation of innovative thinkers, particularly those who may be socio-economically disadvantaged and have limited exposure to available options for careers in STEM.”

“STEM careers offer wonderful opportunities and open doors for students who choose them. The camps serve to encourage and inspire the creativity and enthusiasm in students who are interested in STEM,” said Dr. Harris, president of The Harris Foundation. “My goal with the camps is to empower the next generation of innovative thinkers, particularly those who may be socio-economically disadvantaged and have limited exposure to available options for careers in STEM.”

The camps are sponsored through a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation.

“Building the next generation’s workforce is of critical importance to our industry,” said Ben Soraci, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “Dr. Harris is an outstanding role model, and his camps provide an excellent opportunity for students to gain an appreciation for the STEM fields and to experience problem-solving and close teamwork.”

While living on a college campus for two weeks, these future innovators will receive an all-expenses paid learning experience and mentorship from Dr. Harris and ExxonMobil engineers. Students will also participate in interactive, project-based classes, meet university faculty and students, and learn from secondary school teachers and STEM educators. Their camp experiences will also include experiments, museum visits and hands-on learning opportunities.

The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps have served more than 12,500 students at colleges across the country since 2006.

This year’s university hosts are in Alaska, Arkansas, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. Eligible applicants must be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grades in the fall of 2017. Additional information regarding application requirements and camp-specific submission instructions are available at

Camps in the summer of 2017 will be hosted at the following universities:

Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas)
New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, N.J.)
North Carolina Central University (Durham, N.C.)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
Temple University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
University of Alaska Anchorage (Anchorage, Alaska)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Little Rock, Ark.)
University of Houston (Houston, Texas)
University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, Texas)

About The Harris Foundation

Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization based in Houston, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. The foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and the 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. The Harris Foundation believes students can be prepared now for the careers of the future through a structured educational program and the use of positive role models. More than 50,000 students have participated and benefited from THF programs.

About the ExxonMobil Foundation

The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States. The foundation and corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, promote women as catalysts for economic development and combat malaria. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. In 2015, the ExxonMobil Foundation together with Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates along with employees and retirees, provided $268 million in contributions worldwide.


for The Harris Foundation
Kim Quirk, 214-373-1601