PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A pioneering astronaut comes to Philadelphia tomorrow, to speak to students at a middle school in West Oak Lane.

School kids may know that Philadelphia’s Guy Bluford was the first African-American astronaut in space. They may not know Dr. Bernard Harris was the first African-American to spacewalk, in 1995. Harris is touring the country these days, encouraging inner-city children to aim for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Harris speaks tomorrow at the Wagner Middle school in West Oak Lane, he says, “The thing that I find that can be lacking in kids is their ability to set goals.”

It’s impossible for many kids to envision a future when they’re simply trying to survive the day, he says,”It really is up to them to choose what kind of life that they want. And we want to show them shining examples of what they can do.”

Harris says kids need to dream of the possibilities before they can succeed — and he says you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

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