Girls find their passion for high-tech careers at AAUW’s Tech Trek camps. Through hands-on problem solving and encounters with women role models in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Tech Trek helps girls see their futures while having nonstop fun. Since 1998, AAUW has helped change girls’ lives through Tech Trek, an experiential summer camp backed by research and designed to make STEM exciting and accessible to girls in middle school — the age when research shows girls’ participation in these fields drops. For many girls, the weeklong camp sparks their curiosity and places them on a path toward success.
Tech Trek: It Really Works
Alumnae credit Tech Trek’s multifaceted teaching and hands-on learning strategies with positively shaping their expectations and expanding the scope of opportunities in STEM.
After working alongside women scientists and mathematicians during camp, many alumnae say they are less susceptible to negative stereotypes about women in STEM and more determined to achieve in whatever career interests them.
Tech Trek alumnae surpass the national average in most advanced math and science courses:
Girls learn about STEM careers that align with their passions and help them solve big problems:
A STEM Camp Built for Girls, by Women
What exactly happens at Tech Trek, and how does it work? Here are some of our favorite parts about the camp.
It gets messy. Whether it’s building rockets or extracting DNA, campers get their hands dirty during daily math or science classes and hands-on workshops.
Girls see STEM in action. A daylong field trip and professional meet-and-greet offer girls an up-close view of a STEM career and a way to connect with role models.
Girls see themselves going to college — literally. Campers spend a week on a local college or university campus, so envisioning themselves in college four years later is easy.
The camp is cutting edge. Every camp takes advantage of the latest technology and, thanks to Symantec Corporation, select camps will launch a new cybersecurity course in 2015. Developed by a group of leading experts, the course will teach girls the foundation of real-world tech skills for future tech professions.
Did we mention we’re local? AAUW members work with teachers, parents, campuses, and local STEM professionals to personalize the program for the community.
The methods are proven. Girls learn how to perform basic coding in an MIT-developed mobile app inventor course supported by the Verizon Foundation. Plus, after 10 years, we like to think we’re experts at running a profoundly successful camp.
We make it easy for girls to go. Thanks to sponsors and donors, families pay only a $50 fee to send a girl to camp, ensuring that girls from a range of backgrounds are able to attend.
The Latest Tech Trek News
The collaboration on a coding and app development program at Tech Trek was announced at the 2015 White House Science Fair.
Thanks to Symantec Corporation, we’re piloting a course that introduces campers to the latest hot issue in STEM.
Girls need your support.
Find Tech Trek Near You
Camps are held in the summer at campuses around the country. All campers are nominated by their seventh-grade math and science teachers. Girls then apply and are selected by a committee. Visit the Tech Trek camp pages to learn more about getting involved on the local level.
Camp dates coming soon.
Where It All Started
AAUW of California member Marie Wolbach founded Tech Trek in 1998 with the help of an AAUW Community Action Grant. Since then, AAUW of California has grown Tech Trek to 10 camps on eight college campuses across the state. A 2013 survey of Tech Trek alumnae who attended the camp in California between 2006 and 2009 demonstrates the program’s lasting effects on many levels, including interest and confidence in STEM fields, decision to pursue STEM curricula, and future career plans.
Jefferson Award Winner
Marie Wolbach, founder of the AAUW Tech Trek program, was presented with one of five national Jefferson Awards in June 2015 out of an initial 100 nominees. The Jefferson Awards, which were co-founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, are given to citizens who go above and beyond to serve. The prestigious awards have been called the “Nobel Prize for public and community service.”
Wolbach was nominated as an unsung hero. The longevity, number of program volunteers, and continued quality of the AAUW Tech Trek program were cited as the reasons she was chosen as a winner.
Invest in the Next Generation of STEM Superstars
Tech Trek is a rapidly expanding national program sustained by investment and collaboration from foundations and corporations seeking a more diverse STEM talent pool. Contact Nicole Phillips for more information.