WASHINGTON--Former astronaut Bernard Harris encouraged more than 2,500 Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) students attending The Dream Tour to strengthen their math and science skills as they pursue their goals.
The Dream Tour encourages middle school students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program is sponsored by the ExxonMobil Foundation, which has committed $125 million through the National Math and Science Initiative. The foundation also supports professional development of highly qualified teachers and promotes involvement of women and minorities in STEM fields.
Students from Accokeek Academy were selected to have a private session with Dr. Harris and other ExxonMobil scientists after the program, providing them with the opportunity to learn more about Harris’ experiences as an astronaut and STEM-related careers.
“We encourage communities to demand access to strong science and mathematics programs in their schools, improved teacher training in STEM subjects and increased access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses for their students,” Dr. Harris said.
The Minority Student Pipeline Math Science Partnership, known as (MSP)2, provided transportation and assisted with making this experience possible for PGCPS students.
“We are excited to have experienced The Dream Tour and hope students continue to be motivated to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A very special thanks to our partners at (MSP)2, for promoting and supporting ways to increase students’ interest in science,” said Felecia Martin, PGCPS Science Specialist in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
The Tour is the Harris Foundation’s second educational outreach project with the ExxonMobil Foundation, which also partnered with Dr. Harris to create the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps (EMBHSSC). A free academic program for middle school students focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the camps are held each summer at 23 colleges and universities nationwide.