Southern Miss is First Mississippi Institution Selected for ExxonMobil Harris Science Camp

Southern Miss is First Mississippi Institution Selected for ExxonMobil Harris Science Camp

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi is one of only 20 institutions in the country to be hosting an ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp during the summer of 2015.

“We are the first university ever in the state of Mississippi to do so,” said Marks McWhorter, outreach coordinator for the Department of Biological Sciences. “The camp allows 48 students to attend a two-week long academic, residential summer science camp free of charge. “The theme will be ‘Coastal and Ocean Awareness through Science and Technology' or COAST.”

The camp is June 14 – 27, 2015 on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus. Throughout the two-week camp, students live on campus and participate in interactive, inquiry-based classes taught by university faculty, secondary school teachers and STEM educators. Campers also have the opportunity to explore local museums and nature centers - discovering science within their communities.

According to McWhorter, the theme was created to “provide an opportunity for students to learn about the unique habitats in south Mississippi through field excursions, identify concerns relating to our native region, collaborate with and learn from today's scientists and determine how to solve major ecological issues.”

“It is our hope that campers will not only become excited in STEM-focused fields, but also desire to fill a role and pursue a career that helps better their native habitat, state, and lives,” said McWhorter. “We are extremely delighted to provide this experience to members of the Hattiesburg community.”

Since 2006, more than 9,500 underserved students have participated in this program. According to a 2013 Harris Foundation study of camp alumni, 84 percent of graduating high school participants credit the camp experience for impacting their decision to take STEM-related honors, Pre-Advanced Placement and/or Advanced Placement classes in high school; 96 percent plan to go to college; and 86 percent plan to pursue a STEM-related career.

Eligible students must be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grades in the fall of 2015. And attending any public school within Forrest, Lamar and Perry counties. Information relating to student eligibility and the application is available under Summer Camps at

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