Reaching for the stars

Whitney Curtis

Bernard A. Harris Jr., MD, camp founder, surgeon and the first African-American to conduct a space walk, visits the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp held at Washington University June 20-July 2. Harris shared his story of becoming a NASA astronaut and surgeon on June 30 in Holmes Lounge with the 44 middle school campers from St. Louis City, County and Metro East schools and then he worked with them on a raft rally competition, a hands-on engineering challenge designed to help develop creative problem-solving skills. Throughout the free two-week residential camp, students conducted hands-on experiments, participated in highly interactive demonstrations and learned about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). WUSTL’s Science Outreach program, which provides math and science resources to K-12 students and educators, received an $80,000 grant to support the camp for the fourth year. The camps are being held on 30 campuses throughout the country this summer.