Tech Trek Science and Math Camp for Girls
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, as well as $7000 in scholarships to five Lamorinda high school students and one St. Mary's senior.
The Tech Trek winners are in the front row. Left to right, they are: Chun Che Free, Julia Moseyko, Audrey Moore, Natalie Davis, Ariella Zulch, and Molly Mudgett The scholarship winners and the pink-shirted meeting speaker (Danielle Feinberg, Director of Photography and Lighting at Pixar Animation Studios) are pictured in the back row.
The six middle school girls will attend the Grace Hopper Tech Trek camp on the Stanford University campus in July. 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. 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 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.
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.
OML's Tech Trek Scholarship Program
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.
The competition for these scholarships is intense. Each science or math teacher at the local middle schools is allowed to nominate only five girls. Candidates are required to complete the application, write an essay about their interests, and participate in an in-person interview with a panel of three AAUW members. All girls who attend Tech Trek camps must win scholarships provided by AAUW. Over sixty seventh grade girls have been nominated from the Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda area in 2013. AAUW-OML will be providing scholarships for six girls at the upcoming Grace Hopper Tech Trek Camp at Stanford University, July 14 to 20, 2013.
If you would like to make a donation to our Tech Trek Scholarship Program, send your check, made out to AAUW-CA-SPF with "Tech Trek" written in the memo line, to AAUW-OML, 27 Williams Drive, Moraga, CA 94556.
- 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 in the News
Tech Trek Girls Thank AAUW-OML
In 2012, the Grace Hopper Tech Trek camp took place in July at the Stanford Campus. The core classes included Oceanography, CSI forensics, 3D Math, and Design Engineering and Physics. 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 can't thank you enough for giving me this marvelous opportunity. I went on a field trip with my forensics class to the world renowned Stanford Blood Center. The man who spoke with us created the first FDA approved vaccine for cancer, and his lab was the first lab that screened blood for HIV." (Anna)
"Thank you so much for sending me to this awesome camp. I especially loved my Oceanography core glass. One of my favorite things I did was dissect a squid with two of my classmates. We cut up the mantle of the squid and saw all of the internal organs, including the stomach and the ink sac." (Caroline)
"I had so much fun with the great activities at Tech Trek. My favorites were Brain Age Math, Pixar, and the Virtual Human Interactive Lab. The lab was awesome. We got to enter a virtual world, taking turns wearing the helmet with 3D goggles that let us walk through the worlds. I got to walk through a piazza in Spain." (Cara)
"I had an amazing time at Tech Trek. I discovered that I can learn and have fun at the same time! I want to major in Biology. This camp has not only been helpful to me right now, but it has prepared me for the future." (Morgan)
"I am so glad I got this wonderful opportunity to come to Tech Trek! I am having a wonderful time in my core class, Physics. It was so neat to be able to build a robot then program it to do whatever I wanted it to. I also thought that the lady from Pixar who spoke to us was so cool. It was very interesting to see how a movie was put together." (Audrey)
"Your donations have really changed my life. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I really enjoyed the Professional Women's Night. I have always wanted to be a scientist, but this has been an eye opener." (Maya)