Logo: University of Southern California

MEDIA ADVISORY: Middle School Students at USC Camp Develop Strategy for Mars Landing

Forty-Eight future innovators flock to USC Viterbi School of Engineering and ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp for all-inclusive science and math program
USC Viterbi News
June 26, 2015 —

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering, one of 20 universities to host the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps (EMBHSSC), a two-week, all-expenses-paid STEM experience camp for area middle school students, will showcase the space-themed competition, “Mars Lander Challenge” on June 30th. The camp, which seeks to encourage more young people to pursue classes and careers in science, technology, engineering and math is named for Bernard A. Harris Jr., astronaut and president of The Harris Foundation — and the first African-American to walk in space.

Forty-eight students will be participating at USC this year.

Local students, under the tutelage of university faculty and ExxonMobil engineers, will be tasked with taking household materials to design model spacecraft capable of protecting an astronaut during a planetary landing. During the testing exercise, campers will drop their spacecraft from designated height intervals that mimic the impact and shock of a planetary landing. Teams whose spacecraft land with their astronauts intact will move to the next round, dropping their spacecraft from higher elevations until a winner is declared.

USC and students from the Los Angeles area have been participating in the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program for five years. The program is one of many outreach programs at USC Viterbi including MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement), a year-round program for middle and high school students; and Mission Science, an after-school, hands-on science program for elementary school students, which focus on encouraging diversity in engineering and encouraging first-generation college-bound students to pursue studies and careers in STEM.

WHERE: Taper Hall (THH), Room 101. USC University Park Campus
Campus map: http://web-app.usc.edu/maps/

WHEN: Tuesday, June 30, 2015
9:00 am -11:30 am

RSVP & Parking: Please contact Amy Blumenthal to RSVP and for parking information:
amyblume@usc.edu or 917.710.1897

About The Harris Foundation
Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation 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 foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.

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. The Harris Foundation believes that students can be prepared now for the careers of the future through a structured education program and the use of positive role models. More than 15,000 students annually participate and benefit from THF programs www.theharrisfoundation.org.

About the ExxonMobil Foundation
The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States. The foundation and the corporation ExxonMobil engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, with a focus on math and science in the U.S., promote women as catalysts for development, and combat malaria. In 2013, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $269 million in contributions worldwide, of which $110 million was dedicated to education www.exxonmobil.com.

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 180 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 73 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu/

Media Contact: Amy Blumenthal


Desk: 213.821.1887

Mobile: 917.710.1897