Retired astronaut to speak to Philly students about science

Bernard Harris, one of the first black astronauts to walk in space, will visit a Philly public school next week to encourage students to take an interest in science.

Harris, a retired NASA astronaut, will visit Wagner Middle School, in Germantown, as part of his national "Dream Tour," aimed at bringing information to parents and students about careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Bernard Harris

With children in this country (including Philadelphia) trailing behind pupils in other countries in such content areas, school officials say that Harris' visit can have a significant impact.

"It's an awesome opportunity for our students, parents and community at large," said Wagner's assistant principal Yvette Benning.

Besides being an astronaut for nearly 20 years, Harris, a medical doctor and business owner, is the author of "Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration."

The event is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. at the Wagner Middle School, 1701 Chelten Avenue, which serves 6 to 8th grades.

To find out more about Harris' organization, go to