The key components of the Tech Trek model are as follows:
- Local middle school science and math teachers identify girls to attend Tech Trek.
- Girls apply and are selected to attend the camp.
- Attendees reside on a college or university campus.
- During the week of camp, girls attend a daily math or science core class.
- Girls perform hands-on activities throughout the day.
- A one-day field trip enhances STEM learning.
- Girls interact daily with women STEM role models.
- Girls hear from women STEM professionals at a Professional Women’s Night.
TECH TREK HISTORY
This one-week STEM camp for rising eighth-grade girls got its start over 20 years ago, when AAUW of California member Marie Wolbach applied for an AAUW Community Action Grant to open a math/science camp for girls on the Stanford University campus. Wolbach and AAUW of California have since expanded the program to 10 camps in California alone.
After seeing how effective the program is — alumnae are more likely than their peers to take advanced science and math classes and eventually to go to college — AAUW took the program nationwide in 2013. Tech Trek was now expanded to 10 states, changing the lives of the girls who attend.
Campers in Washington have activities like building and launching model hot air balloons, building and programming robots, cybersecurity, coding computer applications, marine/environmental biology in a laboratory, human physiology/comparative anatomy, chemistry and astronomy. Tech Trek has been shown to significantly increase girls’ self-confidence and their interest in and excitement about the STEM fields, which is why AAUW is expanding Tech Trek to more states each year.
The program puts AAUW’s groundbreaking Solving the Equation research report into action. Tech Trek’s formula follows the report’s recommendations, asking why there are still so few women in the critical fields of engineering and computing — and explains what we can do to make these fields open to and desirable for all employees. Find out how you can support a camp today!