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Kids Drop Their TV Remotes in Favor of Cool Science at UH This SummerEngineers, scientists make learning fun at summer camp for minority and disadvantaged middle school students

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July 10, 2008-Houston-
Kids Drop Their TV Remotes in Favor of Cool Science at UH This Summer Engineers, scientists make learning fun at summer camp for minority and disadvantaged middle school students

How much can you learn about engineering with some straws, aluminum foil, a plastic tub and 200 pennies? Students will find out during a “Raft Rally” competition at the University of Houston next Thursday – one of many sessions at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at UH that shows students the fun of science and engineering.

During this competition, groups of students put a twist on learning how to manage their money. They have 15 minutes to plan and build minirafts out of two squares of aluminum foil and four plastic straws that can float on water and hold the most pennies. This is just one of many hands-on experiments and interactive demonstrations during the second session of this two-week camp held at UH. During their time on campus, these middle-school students have an opportunity to work side by side with ExxonMobil engineers and scientists, as well as UH faculty and teachers from the Houston Independent School District.

Two camps are held at UH annually in June and July. They are offered free of charge to middle school students, who are academically qualified, recommended by their teachers and show a genuine interest in math and science. UH’s College of Technology and College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics donate the facilities, lab equipment and software needed for the various activities.

Started at UH in 1999 by former NASA Astronaut Bernard Harris, a UH alumnus and the first African American to walk in space, the camps this year will reach 1,200 students at 25 college campuses across the country. Each camp offers innovative math and science programs to encourage middle school students to stay in school, develop their knowledge in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math, and eventually pursue careers in these fields.

The Harris Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, 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 or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Photos of campers performing their experiment from the camp’s first session at UH are available on the Web at http://www.uh.edu/news-events/archive/nr/2008/07july/exxommobile-bharris-scampph.html. High-resolution photos are available by contacting Lisa Merkl.

WHO: Houston-area middle school students performing science experiments
WHAT: ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at UH
WHEN: 9 to 10 a.m., Thursday, July 17
WHERE:

University of Houston
Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall (PGH), Room 232
(building No. 547 on campus map – http://www.uh.edu/campus_map/buildings/PGH.php)
Off Cullen Boulevard, Entrance 1

To receive UH science news via e-mail, visit http://www.uh.edu/news-events/mailing-lists/sciencelistserv.php.

Categories: Events