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ANCHORAGE -- Former U.S. Astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris gave students and teachers here a first-hand experience with the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics Wednesday when "The Dream Tour presented by ExxonMobil" made its second stop of 2010 at West Anchorage High School where Harris spoke to 1,400 students from Begich, Central, Clark and Romig Middle Schools.
The Dream Tour is designed to encourage middle school students to realize their potential and strive to acquire strong math and science skills. The program includes an interactive and inspirational program by Harris, a demonstration on space, and engaging dialogue about achieving goals, according to ExxonMobil.
"It is critical that American students are prepared with the problem-solving skills and tools to tackle challenges they may face in the future. [By] providing them with a strong foundation in math and science education is imperative, and with The Dream Tour, I hope to inspire students to pursue studies and careers in these fields," Harris stated.
Since 2008, Harris, who made history as the first African American to walk in space, has encouraged nearly 35,000 middle school students in more than 20 cities nationwide. In addition to Anchorage, this year's Dream Tour will visit Baton Rouge, La.; Billings, Mont.; Cleveland; Denver; Nashville; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Diego and San Francisco.
"ExxonMobil is focused on the need to attract more of America's students to higher-level math and science courses in secondary school. The classes they choose today can make or break their options for the future, and 'The Dream Tour presented by ExxonMobil,' is one way to expose them to the possibilities," stated Gerald McElvy, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation, the primary philanthropic arm of the ExxonMobil Corp. in the U.S.
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