Tech Trek Science and Math Camp for Girls
Tech Trek is a week-long 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 the university campus where the camp is held.
Since the first camp at Stanford in 1998, AAUW-OML has sent almost fifty Lamorinda middle school girls to Tech Trek camp. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields.
Science and math teachers at local intermediate schools nominated 60 girls for Tech Trek camp. Of these, 52 completed applications, and all 52 girls were interviewed by Tech Trek committee members. In April of 2013, the Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette branch of AAUW awarded $6000 in Tech Trek Science and Math Camp scholarships to six middle school girls. At the AAUW-OML Awards Meeting, the winning girls, full of energy and enthusiasm, read their essays explaining their passions for science and math.
The six middle school girls shown above attended the Grace Hopper Tech Trek camp on the Stanford University campus July 14 to 20. From the left, top row: Ariella Zulch, Molly Mudget, and Audrey Moore. Bottom row: Natalie Davis, Julia Moseyko, and Chun Che Free. Read about their experience in a Lamorinda Weekly article.
The Tech Trek Mission
AAUW Tech Trek, founded in 1998, is designed to help girls continue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math, (STEM) exploration and learning. Studies have shown that 68% of both boys and girls in fourth grade are naturally interested in science. But by eighth grade, this interest has dropped dramatically, especially for the girls.
That is why we feel it is important to support girls interested in science during the middle school years and to expose them to the careers available to women in science today. Many former Tech Trekkers, now in college or working, have told us that Tech Trek was one of the most influential personal or academic experiences of their middle school years. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields.
AAUW OML will be selecting another round of six Tech Trekkers in the spring of 2014. The cost is $900 to send each girl to camp. If you would like to make a donation to Tech Trek, send your check, made out to AAUW-OML Community Outreach Fund with Tech Trek written in the check memo line, to AAUW-OML, 27 Williams Drive, Moraga, CA 94556.
Please support our annual Tech Trek fundraiser, the October 1, 2013, Walnut Creek Restaurant Walk. To purchase tickets, email the Tech Trek Director. You can also help the Tech Trek program by supporting our March 29, 2014, Shred Fest fundraiser at 5A Rent-a-Space in Moraga. Save up your boxes of shredding for this date!
- Read our answers to Tech Trek Frequently Asked Questions
- Read the Tech Trek brochure.
- Visit AAUW of California's Frequently Asked Questions on their Tech Trek website.
- See "Why So Few," a recent AAUW study.
- Email the AAUW-OML Tech Trek Director, Sandy Fox-Sohner, or call her at (925) 631-0668 for more information.
- We have made a resource list of camps and activities. We do not endorse any of these programs, but are providing the list as a resource for all our Tech Trek candidates, past and present.
Tech Trek Girls Thank AAUW-OML
The 2013 Tech Trek girls had many "hands on" experiences at the Stanford Camp, including: constructing a robot with sensors and programmable actions (like turning a figure 8 or slamming a golf ball); learning how to suture from a veterinarian; dissecting a squid; constructing balloon-powered and mousetrap-powered car models designed for long travel or for speed; extracting DNA from strawberries; and visiting the NASA History Museum with spectacular auditorium views of the heavenly bodies. The thank you notes sent by the OML Tech Trekkers are wonderful examples of the enthusiasm these girls have for science and math. A few brief sample comments from their detailed thank you letters follow:
"I could not have expected such a wonderful experience to come into my summer and year, with so many wonderful and amazing women…"
"It's a life changing thing…I will never forget it!"
"As long as I live, this will always be one of my most treasured memories…Thanks again for giving me the gift of this awesome experience!"
"This experience has not only taught me more about marine biology, but introduces me to new science and math fields that I haven't tried. I find astronomy and engineering quite fun."
"I love the sense of community I feel surrounded by girls with the similar passions. Everyone here has so much information to give and spread and are so enthusiastic!"