College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will host ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 8, 2007 – Virginia Tech has been chosen as a site for a 2007 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp on June 18-30. The Virginia Tech camp will be one of 20 hosted by universities across the country. The two-week residential camp offers an innovative program that enhances middle school students’ knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) while encouraging students to stay in school and fostering leadership and citizenship.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Virginia Tech to broaden students’ knowledge of the science and engineering disciplines and get them excited about the sciences,” said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture of College and Life Sciences. “We need to encourage more students, especially women and minorities, to pursue careers in the STEM fields where there is a growing need and tremendous opportunity for future professionals.”

Through daily classes and hands-on activities conducted by Virginia Tech faculty members and graduate students, campers will gain technical skills and an improved understanding of the interconnections between mathematics, science, and technology in real-world applications. Activities will include classroom study, experiments, individual/team/group projects, weekly field excursions, and guest speakers to motivate the students into fulfilling their dreams.

“The primary purpose of the summer activities is to stimulate the students’ imagination and deepen their understanding of science,” said Ed McPherson, camp co-director and the director Virginia Tech Summer Training Academy for Rising Students.

A unique aspect of the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp is that there is no fee for the campers. Instead, rising sixth, seventh, and eighth graders who are academically qualified and genuinely interested in mathematics and science are recommended by their teachers and can be rewarded with the opportunity to attend this fun and educational camp.

For more information about campus activities, student eligibility, and selection criteria, please contact camp directors Ed Smith at (540) 231- 6797 or Karey Sutton, or visit the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp website.

About Virginia Tech

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.

About the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 2,200 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.

About ExxonMobil Foundation

ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The foundation and the corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health, and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic education and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries.

About Harris Foundation

Founded in 1998,The Harris Foundation (THF) is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health, and wealth. The Education Mission of the Harris Foundation is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through the support of social, recreational, and educational programs for grades K-12. Through two primary initiatives, the Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and Dare to Dream, the foundation encourages math and science education, motivates youth to stay in school, fosters youth leadership and citizenship, and instills the values of responsibility, fairness, and respect.