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Deadline: September 1, 2014
Tech Trek is a weeklong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) summer camp for rising eighth-grade girls. Through Tech Trek, girls are immersed in a world that empowers and encourages them to think about themselves as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer specialists.
AAUW piloted four national Tech Trek sites in 2013, in Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Washington. Campers took part in activities like building and programming robots, extracting their own DNA, learning how computer simulations are used to predict weather patterns, and much more! A study of the program found that Tech Trek significantly increased girls’ self-confidence and their interest in and excitement about the STEM fields.
One camper said about her Tech Trek experience,
“I’ve made so many friends. It’s a great experience for any girl that has an interest in science. This camp has inspired me. I may not know what my future job might be, but I know it will be one in STEM.”
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. In summer 2011, Tech Trek was featured on the CBS Evening News. In 2013, Marie Wolbach received the Classic Woman Award from Traditional Home magazine for her exceptional volunteerism, shown in her work with Tech Trek. When asked how Tech Trek had affected her, one alumna said
“This camp opened my eyes to see how important math and science are for me. … I met so many girls that also were very bright and share the same abilities. … As of today I am majoring in civil engineering and plan to graduate next year in the spring at California State University, Fresno. Thank you! Tech Trek camp made a difference in my life.”
Due to the success of the national Tech Trek camps in 2013, AAUW is bringing Tech Trek to three new states in 2014: Alabama, New Mexico, and Oregon.
Our National Sites
Visit the national Tech Trek camp pages to learn more about how each camp is inspiring girls.
|Branch||Camp Site||2014 Event Date|
|AAUW Huntsville (AL) Branch||University of Alabama, Huntsville||July 20-25|
|AAUW of Florida||Eckerd College||July 13-19|
|AAUW Las Cruces (NM) Branch||New Mexico State University||July 13-19|
|AAUW Bowling Green (OH) Branch||Bowling Green State University||June 15-21|
|AAUW Weatherford (OK) Branch||Southwestern Oklahoma State University||July 13-19|
|AAUW Tillamook (OR) Branch||Tillamook Bay Community College||June 22-28|
|AAUW of Washington||Pacific Lutheran University||July 20-26|
Tech Trek in California
Looking for a great STEM experience in California? Find a Tech Trek camp near you!
|City||Camp Site||2014 Event Date|
|Davis||University of California, Davis||July 6–12|
|Fresno||California State University, Fresno||June 15–21|
|Irvine||University of California, Irvine||July 13-19|
|San Diego||University of California, San Diego||June 22–28|
|Santa Barbara||University of California, Santa Barbara||July 27–August 2 (Blackwell)
August 3–9 (Hypatia)
|Sonoma||Sonoma State University||June 22–28|
|Stanford||Stanford University||July 6–12 (Curie)
July 13–19 (Hopper)
|Whittier||Whittier College||June 15–21|
How the Camp Works
All campers are nominated by their seventh-grade math and science teachers. Campers then apply and are selected by the Tech Trek committee. Families pay only a $50 fee to send a girl to camp, ensuring that girls from a range of backgrounds are able to attend. Tech Trek attendees spend a week on a college or university campus, which helps girls envision themselves pursuing higher education. The campers attend either a math or science core class daily as well as hands-on workshops, many of which are run by women STEM professionals. A daylong field trip provides girls with a chance to learn about a STEM profession in person and witness a STEM workplace environment.
All Tech Trek camps include a Professional Women’s Night where women STEM professionals from the community speak to the girls about their educational and career paths. These women serve as role models and provide key insights into the successes and challenges of working in a traditionally male-dominated field.
Upping the Innovation
Tech Trek camps at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Southwestern Oklahoma State University; and the University of Alabama, Huntsville, will pilot an apps inventor course, which was developed by MIT and will be implemented thanks to an $84,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation. Read more »
Inspiring a Future of Options
Surveys from Tech Trek California alumnae demonstrate the impact of the camp experience on their own educational and professional paths. Tech Trek alumnae
- Have completed a higher number of science and math courses (including Advanced Placement courses) in high school than the national average student has
- Attend college at a higher rate than the national average
- Credit Tech Trek with encouraging them to pursue their interest in science and math careers
Support camps designed to develop girls’ interest, excitement, and self-confidence in STEM fields.Give to Tech Trek