Oregon middle school students attend science camp at OSU

July 28, 2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Imagination released by science will lead the way Aug. 2–13 when 54 Oregon middle school students team up to plan 700-day missions to Mars, and how to make scale models of space modules to get them there.

Oregon State University plays host to students in sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grades during the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science camp. As they find ways to design space systems needed to keep them alive on Mars, they will call on their new knowledge about energy from animals, photosynthesis and other metabolic processes.

The public is invited to hear results of the mission plans during the closing program Friday, Aug. 13, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Withycombe Auditorium on Campus Way.

As part of the two-week residential camp, students will take a trip to OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport for lessons about how marine animals adapt to their environment. They also will visit the Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Corvallis.

Bernard Harris, the first African-American astronaut to walk in space, will visit the camp on Wednesday, Aug. 11. In 1990, he was selected as a NASA astronaut and flew his first mission three years later. He founded the Bernard Harris Foundation in 1998 to develop math/science education and crime prevention programs for America's youth.

The summer science camp is offered at 30 universities across the country. The full cost of the camp's education program, field trips, food and lodging is covered by a grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation and the Bernard Harris Foundation.

"In Oregon and across the nation, 4-H Youth Development, which is one of the program sponsors, supports a mandate from the United States Department of Agriculture," said Virginia Bourdeau, executive director of the camp. "We encourage middle school students to learn about science, engineering and technology and invite participation from those who are traditionally under-represented in higher education and employment.”

"We introduce students to a university campus and positive experiences with adult mentors, which we hope will help them seek education beyond high school," Bourdeau said.

The summer camp is a group effort of OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development; College of Education, Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) program; Department of Science and Mathematics Education in the College of Science; and College of Engineering.

Interested persons may follow the camp's daily activities via blog.

Students attending the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp include:

Adrian: Jett McCoy

Albany: Corey Clemetsen, Haylee Burgdorf and Alejandro Alvarez

Astoria: Patricia Brodie

Aurora: Kendra Kasel

Bend: Ian Churchill

Coos Bay: Jasmine Barker

Corvallis: Hailey Miller and Isidro Gonzalez

Culver: Sammy Freeman

Dallas: Kyle Teal

Dayton: Isabella Montelongo

Eagle Point: Lauren Renteria

Eugene: Ian Skaggs and Mason Brainard

Gold Beach: Dakota Hensley

Happy Valley: Elaina Perez

Hood River: Ryder McDowell and Christopher Mendez

Irrigon: Marisol Sanchez

Klamath Falls: Starla Chambrose and Hayden Dentinger

Lakeview: Tori Crumrine and Nick Warner

LaPine: Holly Pezel

Lebanon: Tristan Davis

Medford: Elora Ormand, Nevada Wiensz and Gabriela Gutierrez

Monroe: Dalton Barron

Monument: John Ramirez

Nehalem: Jed Emonds

Pendleton: Danielle Gove

Philomath: Alexis Lillis and Bethany Nielson

Portland: Shondrenika Credit, Malcom Jackson, Theresa Smith, Hawii Boriyo, Nawal Oumar and Aditya Radhakrtshnan

Redmond: Sarah Jove

Salem: Clarissa Wolfe

Scappoose: Silas Lal

Scio: Noah Hodgson

Springfield: Geoffrey Riedberger

Tigard: Ryan Cavinta

Tualatin: Stephanie Najera and Uvania Luna-Gonzalez

Warm Springs: Jordon Patt

Warrenton: Marcus Giles

Woodburn: Isiah Espinoza and Juvenal Gonzalez

Author: Judy Scott