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NASA Astronaut Bernard Harris Visits Local Science Camp Students in Montco

(NASA astronaut Bernard Harris addresses students at Gwynedd Mercy College.  Credit: Michelle Durham)

(NASA astronaut Bernard Harris addresses students at Gwynedd Mercy College. Credit: Michelle Durham)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

GWYNEDD, Pa. (CBS) — A former NASA astronaut was in Montgomery County, Pa. today, speaking with middle school students taking part in a two-week, overnight science camp.

Bernard Harris flew two missions for NASA, in 1993 and 1995, then developed a foundation that sponsors Temple University‘s free, two-week Summer Science Camp on the campus of Gwynedd Mercy College.

During this camp — one of many science camps across the country — the 55 students chosen from all over the Delaware Valley will conduct a series of experiments and activities that not only teach them the importance of science and math, but the value of teamwork.

Harris says one activity is based on his 1995 spacewalk.

“They will be putting together a swatch which is a cross-section of that spacesuit that protects us when we go outside,” he explains.  “There are a lot of lessons they are going to learn about kinetic energy, about meteors, and about how you survive in outer space.”

One student, Kameron, was thrilled to be there.

“I’m really excited to be meeting a real astronaut,” he said.

And another student, Niah, was asked if she could see herself in space?

“I think it would be fun, very interesting,” she said, “but I don’t know if I would have the courage to go out there.”

About 500 students apply each year for this camp.  They are chosen based on their grade-point average and recommendation letters from teachers.

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