For my day job, I work to promote math and science programs for middle school students around the country.  Sunday, I travel to Houston to work with Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., the first African American to walk in space nearly 15 years ago aboard Space Shuttle Missions STS-63. Bernard and his partner, ExxonMobil, have worked to host an event at the Toyota Center targeting almost 10,000 middle school students from 6 area school districts.  200px-Bernard_Anthony_Harris_Jr

That's exciting and a wonderful thing to be a part of.  We've been working with The Harris Foundation and ExxonMobil all year long to make this event happen and it's finally coming together Monday at 10 a.m.

And what a big deal this is going to be.  Usually during the year we visit middle schools and have an assembly with a couple hundred of the students in the auditorium or gym.  The Toyota Center is going to be a little different.  Rather, a lot different. 

As you know, I've been involved in big-scale events before in the past, so it won't necessarily be a new experience.  But I am looking forward  to it because clearly as a nation and as parents, each of us all must continue to focus on encouraging our younger generation to embrace the importance of math and science and the way it will affect their lives in the future. 

At home with the girls and boys at our house, Kari and I constantly are emphasizing the importance of math and science to our own children and if someone doesn't get a good grade in school, we're very quick to get to the bottom of why and take action to remedy the situation. As a dad and blogger, I try to constantly emphasize to other parents the importance of encouraging your children to do well in school and to seek out careers in math and science. 

If you think about it, these fields are tremendously important, particularly in the age of such advancing technology. 

Please take a look at the news release we've released about Dr. Harris' event on Monday and don't forget to follow him on Twitter or become a fan of his over on Facebook.  He has lots of activities planned for 2010 where he will be stepping up his efforts to reach more and more students nationwide.  Again, I need to disclose to you that this is what I do for a living during the day light hours, so that there is full disclosure here. 

But honestly, how can you not get excited about seeing an astronaut?  How can you not stop for a second right now and flashback to the times as a youth when you, too, thought about what it would be like to blast off into space?  I can't, and every time I get to hear Bernard relate his story of overcoming the obstacles in life, I feel that much more inspired. 




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