Dr. Bernard Harris Jr. visits ANSEP for ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

05-Aug-2016 ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – All systems were go today at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), where 48 Alaskan middle school students participated in the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP). As part of the program’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, these budding scientists got hands on in a Mars Lander Challenge, a space-themed competition, with camp founder and veteran astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris Jr. on Aug. 5.

Students were challenged with the task of using household materials to create a spacecraft capable of absorbing shock from a planetary landing, while learning about Harris’ journey as the first African American to walk in space and the extreme elements he encountered during his two shuttle missions. ANSEP staff and ExxonMobil engineers worked alongside campers and offered guidance as they built their spacecrafts.

“Through hands-on activities, such as building robots and testing spacecraft, students are able to see how science, technology, engineering and math integrate with daily life,” said Harris.

The two-week, all-expenses-paid ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp focuses on teamwork and hands-on activities, such as creating rockets, roller coasters and model homes using specially designed software. Additionally, teachers show campers math and science at work in their community through field excursions to local ecosystems, nature parks and area museums.

The ExxonMobil Foundation and The Harris Foundation have partnered for 11 consecutive years to bring math and science camps to more than 9,500 underserved students and help close the achievement gap. This is the seventh year ANSEP has been selected to participate in the program.

Students participating in this year’s ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp came from 16 districts across Alaska, including:
  • Anchorage School District: Margaret Allen-Charmley, Tyler Angel, Benjamin Bourdukofsky, Cedric Deacon, Josiah Dejnozka, Riccya George-Love, Peter Griggs, Tarren Gudmundson, Dalyn Macaraeg and Isabelle Merculief
  • Bering Strait School District: Melody Bergamaschi, Destiny Lewis, Emmanuel-Shahert Mittelholzer, Zachary Moses, Alaina Pete and Ryan Tocktoo
  • Dillingham City School District: Yitnazbah Yellowhorse
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough School District: Joseph Kriska, Naatanii Mayo and Rebecka Morgan
  • Kake City School District: Taylor Vantrease
  • Kashunamiut School District: Joseph Night
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough School District: James Nyren
  • Kodiak Island Borough School District: Shawn Case, Mari Hansell, Angelina Ong and Torikay Paddock
  • Lake and Peninsula School District: Aileen Lester, Johnna Nanalook and Gabriel Olympic
  • Lower Kuskokwim School District: Kallie Andrew
  • Nome Public Schools: David Bahnke
  • North Slope Borough School District: Jaden Aishanna, Emma Bodfish, Shayla Bordeaux, Arlene Kanayurak, Eldon Lieb and Evelyn Segevan
  • Southwest Region School District: Shania McCanna and Tyson Olsen
  • Wrangell Public Schools District: Rowen Wiederspohn
  • Yukon-Koyukuk School District: Jordan David, Molly Penn, Carl Vent and Joseph Williams, IV
  • Yupiit School District: Tyler Charles and Keitha Phillip
“Each year, we look forward to the unique, hands-on learning activities and inspiration that this camp and Dr. Harris bring to Alaska’s youth,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “We want to thank ExxonMobil and the Harris Foundation for making the science camp available to ANSEP students.”

For more information, visit www.theharrisfoundation.org.