WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – NASA Astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris visited Minnechaug High School in Wilbraham Friday to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM.

Dr. Harris’ track record is truly out of this world! He is a scientist, surgeon, astronaut, entrepreneur, and leader. He is best known for having been the first Black American to walk in space. In 1995, he flew on a Space Shuttle mission with Dr. Janice E. Voss, who was actually a Minnechaug graduate.

In Feb. 1995, astronaut Bernard Harris became the first African American to perform a spacewalk. (Credit: NASA)

The Minnechaug Regional High School Class of 1973 has developed three innovative STEM programs to inspire students. Dr. Harris is strong proponent of math and science education and students were able to learn about the countless opportunities available in the world of STEM.

“We are here to salute her and the contribution she’s made to this community and also bring the need and value of STEM education to the students in this community,” said Dr. Harris.

The Janice Voss Memorial Committee has brought a variety of programs to the school including donations of STEM books to Hampden and Wilbraham school libraries, a paid trip to Space Camp in Huntsville for one 9- to 11-year-old student, and an annual scholarship for a graduating Minnechaug senior who plans to study for a career in STEM.

Local News

Melissa Torres is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2021. Follow Melissa on X @melissatorrestv and view her bio to see more of her work.