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Former Astronaut Bernard Harris Honored At Philadelphia Science Fair Ceremony

(Dr. Bernard Harris, second from left, is congratulated by Thomas Anderson Jr., chair of the Carver Science Fair.  Photo by Robin Culverwell.)

(Dr. Bernard Harris, second from left, is congratulated by Thomas Anderson Jr., chair of the Carver Science Fair. Photo by Robin Culverwell.)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - This year’s George Washington Carver Science Fair Awards have been handed out, and among the honorees was retired astronaut and physician Bernard Harris.

Dr. Harris said the 32nd annual award ceremony isn’t about him, it’s about the elementary and high school students who are excelling in math and science every day.

“This country needs scientists of all ethnic backgrounds,” he said today during ceremonies at the Academy of Natural Sciences. “We need to ensure that all our communities have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, no matter what their dreams are.”

Harris told those gathered at the Academy, on Logan Circle, that he was fortunate to watch the space program unfold before his eyes, on his family’s television.

That inspired him to join NASA, he recalled, then led to him being allowed to fly on both Columbia and Discovery. And in 1995 he became the first African-American to walk in space.

“It was incredible to be outside and to look back and see the earth and realize there were billions of people there,” he says.

Reported by Robin Culverwell, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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