By Dallas Post Tribune Staff
DALLAS, TX – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, last week hosted her annual Math and Science Lecture Series at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. Supported by the University of Texas at Dallas, this year’s event connected students with former NASA astronaut and physician, Dr. Bernard Harris, a veteran of two space missions. The lecture series is designed to expose students to STEM educations in hopes they may pursue careers in these crucial fields.
“Science and mathematics fuel the engine of the American economy and global innovation– most notably, inspiration. We need that inspiration, now more than ever as we seek to encourage a new generation to pursue careers in science technology, engineering, and math,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Children are the future, and the nation is depending on them. It is that inspiration that breathes life in STEM education initiatives and helps the STEM curricula motivate a diverse cross-section of our youth, including those who have traditionally been underrepresented in the STEM areas of study.”
As the keynote speaker, Dr. Harris, founder of the Harris Foundation and head of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), inspired the 150 high school students in attendance with firsthand accounts of his time in space and his career in medicine. A native Texan, Dr. Harris spoke on the importance of STEM educations for students and the critical role events like the Math and Science Lecture Series play.
“Programs like Congresswoman Johnson’s speaker series are important to spark and sustain students interest,” said Dr. Harris. “The only reason I was able to become an astronaut, a physician and now, CEO of NMSI, is because of education. I had people and programs who supported my dreams.”
The Math and Science Lecture Series is a component of Congresswoman Johnson’s efforts to connect with the youth and expose them to better personal and professional opportunities. She also hosts the Youth Summit and Diversity Dialogue, the Youth Crime Prevention Summit, the Congressional App Challenge and the Congressional Art Competition each year.