“I had always been worried about going into a male-dominated field,” said one camper in Washington. “Tech Trek has made me feel more confident about my abilities in STEM and has made me want to follow my dreams of becoming a medical engineer.”
At 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.
Tech Trek is a science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on a university campus where camps are held.
Tech Trek is a project of AAUW California.
Where do we find our campers?
All girls attend Tech Trek camps on scholarships provided by AAUW California branch members, working with participating middle schools in their area. Seventh grade science and/or math teachers at these schools recommend camper candidates who must then pass through an extensive qualification process that includes an application, an essay, and a personal interview. Camp curriculum is targeted specifically at girls entering 8th grade.
AAUW branches are not always able to work with every local school, either because the principal, counselors, and/or teachers choose not to, or because there are too many schools and too few scholarships available in the local area. Girls must attend the camp at which the local AAUW branch has made reservations.
Organizations, unions, groups of teachers, etc., may become Tech Trek Partners by raising funds for a specific group of students. Contact the coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Parents cannot provide a scholarship for their daughters, and all campers must attend a participating California school.
What is Tech Trek?
Since 1998 AAUW Tech Trek camps have been designed to help girls continue their interests in science, math, engineering & technology (STEM) exploration and learning, through the tricky years when new distractions enter their lives. Studies have shown that girls’ interests can be sustained if they are exposed to the careers available to women in science today. Tech Trek provides some of that exposure.
We hope they will consider entering the STEM fields which are currently under-represented by women. (See “Why So Few”, a recent AAUW study: www.aauw.org/research/why-so-few/)
Also, a week’s stay on an exciting college campus helps girls picture themselves on such a campus and visualize college in their future. This is especially important for girls whose family members have not gone to college or university.