2018 TECH TREK SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
In March 2018 AAUW Alameda Tech Trek Committee named five Alameda 7th-grade girls (representing five Alameda public schools) who were awarded full sponsorships to attend the 2018 Tech Trek STEM Camp at Sonoma State University. Alameda Tech Trek scholarship winners were chosen from a competitive group of nominees. Our choices were difficult, as we interviewed so many girls who are curious, motivated, and passionately engaged in their STEM interests in school, extra-curricular activities, and science fairs.
This year’s campers are shown in the photo above taken at the annual Tech Trek Ice Cream Social, where the girls and their families joined the committee to get acquainted with one another, meet Tech Trek alumni, and celebrate their success. At the September 8, 2018, branch meeting our Campers share their Tech Trek experience with the membership in an hour-long slide show and personal presentation. Our 2017 campers were interviewed and featured in The Alameda Journal, click on the following link to read about the impact this program had on our campers
Alameda Branch thanks the “awesome” 2018 Tech Trek Committee members, Barbara Krummel, Chair; Adele Aced, Judy Ireland, Linda Preminger, Patti Heimberger, Shubha Fanse, Judy Jaber and Carolee Ziegenhagen.
Stay tuned–the selection process for our 2019 campers will begin in January.
Tech Trek Program
Tech Trek, a program of AAUW California, is a resident summer camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women rising from 7th to 8th grade in California public schools. It features hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and math taught by specially-selected faculty, and a full program of inquiry-based learning experiences designed to help girls build and sustain their STEM interests through their middle and high school years, and beyond. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on a university campus where camps are held.
The first 150 campers from across California spent five days on the Stanford University campus in June 1998, supervised by program founder Marie Wolbach. Over the past 20 years Tech Trek has expanded to include camps at ten universities in Northern and Southern California. In 2017 the program was briefly nationalized supporting girls in 22 camps across the country. In 2018 Tech Trek is again an entity of AAUW of California, and expects to serve over 800 girls in hands-on problem-solving challenges, encounters with female mentors pursuing STEM careers, and full immersion in the college-campus experience.
Attendance at Tech Trek is by invitation only. All attendees are nominated by their teachers and apply to participate with a branch of AAUW CA, following the selection process outlined below. The process is competitive, and all girls selected receive a full scholarship to attend.
For more details about the history and purpose of Tech Trek, and its impact on girls’ educational success, follow the links:
Here are more links to short videos about the program:
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?
- First, science, math, and computer teachers, at public middle schools receive the teacher packet. Teachers are asked to make detailed recommendations and nominate to the AAUW Alameda Branch Tech Trek Committee students they think would benefit from Camp.
- 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 paramount.
- Recommended girls (whose parents sign the form) receive an application to fill out, and a writing prompt for completing a short essay. (Just like applying to college, it is good practice).
- The Tech Trek Committee evaluates the written applications received by the due date. Late submissions are not accepted. Essays, with student names removed, are evaluated using a pre-established rubric.
- The Tech Trek Committee arranges for face-to-face interviews with 10-12 girls selected from the application evaluation, using a set of pre-determined questions, vetted for racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic equity. The Committee also invites parents and guardians to participate in interviews.
- Using the combined results of teacher recommendation, application, essay and interview, the Committee then selects 4-6 participants best likely to benefit from the Camp experience. Space at all camps is limited, 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. All attendees must be selected by their teacher and go through an application process with a branch of AAUW CA. Girls chosen 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.
Who run TechTrek educational programs?
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 2018. 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.