In 1998, AAUW-California established Tech Trek, a high-tech math, science and computer camp targeted toward 7th grade girls. The 150 campers from across California spent five days on the Stanford University campus in June 1998. Tech Trek has expanded during the past few years to include camps at eight universities in Northern and Southern California. Tech Trek features a specially selected faculty, field trips, and a full program of hands-on learning experiences. Attendance is by scholarship only through AAUW selection process (see below).
AAUW Tech Trek is designed to help girls sustain and continue their interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) during and after their middle school years.
Below is are links to short videos about the program:
Our branch has sponsored 4-6 girls per year to Tech Trek, selected by teacher nomination from participating middle schools, and then by essay contest and interview.
Tech Trek Campers Selection Process
- Science and math teachers at participating public middle schools receive the teacher packet and recommend students to the AAUW Alameda Branch Tech Trek Committee.
- The recommended students complete the application including writing an essay on a subject set by the committee.
- The Tech Trek committee interviews the girls who submitted complete applications by the due date. Late submissions will not be accepted.
- The selection committee decides which girls will best benefit from the camp experience based on teacher recommendations, application, essay and interview.
Girls with a strong interest in science, who are highly motivated, curious, able to work with deadlines, and work well with others will most benefit from the camp.
Tech Trek FAQs (quoted from California State Tech Trek Site)
“Tech Trek, a program of AAUW California, is a science/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.
How are girls chosen to attend Tech Trek?
1. First, science and/or math teachers at participating schools are asked to recommend—with details—students they think would benefit from camp.
2. Parents or guardians of girls who are recommended are then asked to sign a parental consent form (so AAUW knows it’s okay to contact the prospective camper). The safety of our campers is important to us.
3. Recommended girls (whose parents sign the form) receive an application to fill out and a question on which to write a short essay. (Just like applying to college—it is good practice).
4. Once the applications and essays are received by the AAUW branch coordinator (deadlines are important) most branches arrange for a face-to-face interview with the girl and, if possible, her parents.
5. AAUW members then decide which girls would benefit the most from attending camp. Space at all camps is tight and branches must raise the money for each camper’s scholarship themselves (families are asked to contribute about $50 if they can afford it).
Can I pay for my daughter to attend Tech Trek?
There is no opportunity for parents to pay their daughter’s way to attend. Tech Trek is a scholarship-only program and all attendees must be selected by their teacher and go through an application process with a branch of AAUW CA. Girls chosen to to be campers will be awarded a scholarship to attend.
Paperwork to attend Tech Trek?
Every girl attending a Tech Trek Science Camp is on a full scholarship and was first recommended for the program by her middle school science or math teacher. Local AAUW branch coordinators provide the schools and teachers with guidelines for choosing girls who will be successful at camp.
Recommended girls are contacted, along with their parents, and asked to complete an application and to write a short essay on a specified subject. AAUW branch members then interview all prospective campers. Each branch will choose the number of girls for whom they have scholarships. Families are asked to pay a very small part of the total amount if they can.
Camp Directors have no problem identifying interested and competent teachers, as the word spreads every year from those who do participate, with most wanting to return again and again. Several teachers have returned every year since Tech Trek began. Instructors in Tech Trek camps spend long hours gathering materials and preparing, all of which helps make the week an unforgettable and exhilarating experience.
AAUW member volunteers serve as dorm moms/counselors …, health aides, classroom aides, and fill in as needed. They provide the opportunity to bring like-minded middle school girls together for a week of involvement in math and science enrichment activities, which are fun while educational. As an example, one 2007 camper was overheard telling her parents, “I’m with my people!”
Junior Counselors, former Tech Trek campers who return as helpers when they are in high school, are now an indispensable part of the program at most camps. Recent high school grads or high school seniors serve as Senior Counselors.
If you are an AAUW member, please consider contributing your time to Tech Trek 2015. Help is needed, and involvement in the program is gratifying. Volunteers may work a few hours helping with various tasks before camps open, distribute registration packets on the first day of camp, or, at the other end of the scale, live on the campus for the week.”
2016 TECH TREK SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
The AAUW Alameda Tech Trek Committee recently named the six Alameda 7th-grade girls who were awarded full sponsorships by AAUW Alameda to the 2016 Tech Trek “STEM” Camp at Sonoma State University on June 19-25, 2016. The girls met on June 12 to get acquainted and celebrate collectively at an Ice Cream Social in their honor. The winners are Danielle Pon, Michelle Lin, Greta Abbe-Good, Gabrielle Lewis, Mia Troncoso, and Nkechi Ezirim. They are pictured above with their school names.
The selection process was exhaustive. It included myriad activities by Alameda Tech Trek Committee members to identify and select the winners from an outstanding field nominated by participating Alameda middle-school math and science teachers. The final six Tech Trek campers were chosen by the Alameda Tech Trek committee. At the September 10, 2016 branch meeting for general members, the girls will present a program about their camp experiences. You won’t want to miss it.
Alameda Branch thanks the “awesome” 2016 Tech Trek Committee members, all of whom are returning in 2017: Adele Aced, Chair; Judy Ireland and Inge Greth, Co-Chairs; Kevis Brownson, Rose Ann White, Barbara Krummel, Linda Preminger, and Patti Heimberger. They did a truly outstanding job.