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Bernard Anthony Harris is a medical doctor and retired NASA astronaut. Twenty three years ago, he became the first African American to do a spacewalk.

During his Space Shuttle flights, he helped build space rovers and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.  While at NASA, he also conducted research in space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend Astronaut stays in space.

Since he retired from NASA in April 1996, he has spent time building organizations focused on science, information technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, including the Harris Institute.

As chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative, Dr. Harris leads efforts to improve student achievement in STEM education across America.

This week, Sylvan Learning and the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announced a partnership to bring STEM education to more students.

“After spending decades of my career involved in math and science education, I see the value of the education Sylvan Learning is providing to students across the United States, and I know our partnership will be a significant benefit to students,” said Dr. Harris.

“NMSI has worked for 10 years to strengthen the current STEM teacher workforce, to develop more STEM teachers and to expand student achievement in STEM education across the country. I’m now looking forward to exploring additional opportunities with the Sylvan team,” he said.

Sylvan and NMSI plan to deliver STEM activities in Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, California’s Bay Area, San Diego, Central Florida, New York City, Atlanta, and areas with high levels of active military service member families.

Together, they will seek cooperative opportunities to develop STEM programming, particularly for children in low-income families and underrepresented demographics in the STEM field.

“We are excited about the opportunity the partnership between Sylvan Learning and NMSI offers to bring STEM education to students who might not have other means of access,” said John McAuliffe, CEO of Sylvan Learning. “Students need to gain early access to STEM and to become comfortable with the subjects at a young age because these skills are becoming the foundation of many careers.”

For nearly 40 years, Sylvan has helped millions of students and families achieve new levels of academic success.

Launched in 2007, NMSI trains and supports teachers to increase student achievement, particularly in math and science, through local partnerships.

NMSI has received national recognition for programs benefiting school communities in 40 states and the District of Columbia, including NMSI’s College Readiness Program, Laying the Foundation, and the UTeach Expansion Program.

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