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Texas Tech University to Host Prestigious Summer Science Camp

Camps encourage middle school youth to pursue math and science careers.

Written by Karin Slyker

While many middle school students are looking for a way to spend their summer break, others will embark on a two-week, all-expenses-paid adventure in math and science.

Texas Tech University accepted an $80,000 grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation to become one of 25 universities in the nation offering the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for a second straight year.

The prestigious program offers underserved middle school students opportunities to engage in learning about sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual and team projects, field excursions and guest speakers.

Texas Tech’s T-STEM Center will host the camp for 48 students living within a 50-mile radius of Lubbock.

“Texas Tech is proud to be a part of a program that has such a significant impact on our local students,” said Beccy Hambright, camp director and program manager for Texas Tech’s T-STEM Center. “We believe the knowledge our students gain during the camp will increase their passion for science and math throughout their lives.”

Harris, a former Texas Tech regent, is best known for his historic contributions to science as the first African-American astronaut to walk in space and a NASA researcher. Today, he dedicates himself to education initiatives that empower students to increase their science, technology, engineering and math skills through his organization, The Harris Foundation.

Since 2006, Harris has partnered with the ExxonMobil Foundation to host summer science camps at numerous academic institutions across the country. Each year, the camps provide more than 1,200 middle school students, primarily from urban districts, with the opportunity to participate in engaging lessons and activities provided by NASA and The Harris Foundation. Campers reside on campus for the duration of the program and attend daily classes taught by university faculty and local secondary teachers.

Camp dates are July 17-29. To be eligible, all applicants must be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grades in the fall of 2011. Interested students will need recommendations from their current math and science teachers, a 250-word essay, median-to-superior level scores on all standardized math and science tests within the past year and a B-average or better in all math and science classes to complete their application.

Applications are available online, and must be submitted along with records and recommendations by May 2. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than May 27.

CONTACT: Beccy Hambright, program manager, T-STEM Center, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3451, or beccy.hambright@ttu.edu.

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