2021 Tech Trek will be Virtual

For more information click HERE to go to the 2021 Virtual Camp website.

Virtual Tech Trek is designed to provide campers with exposure to computer science and engineering, along with workshops designed to explore individual STEM specialties more deeply using a hands-on or interactive approach. Hands-on activities, inspirational speakers, and interactive workshops help to make STEM subjects fun as well as educational. Trained instructors and coaching staff including near-peer Tech Trek alumnae, work alongside credentialed teachers, and women in STEM-related careers.

This is a week-long virtual camp for rising 8th grade girls. The camp is centered on a morning  project-based robotics/engineering/coding class that meets daily and results in a personalized creation by week’s end. After lunch, the campers hear from inspirational women for an hour, then participate in one or more 90-minute hands-on or interactive science, technology, engineering, and math workshops to encourage fun while learning.  They can return for evening workshops with girls from another country, social activities, or even parent sessions.

While the university campus continues to be an integral component of the Tech Trek experience, it is one that must be forgone this year.  The virtual camp addresses an equally critical component:  exposure to STEM subjects in a welcoming community. Under the careful supervision of trained coaching staff in a low 3:1 camper-to-staff ratio, and using kits distributed prior to camp, the campers will interact with women who model a high degree of science, technology, engineering, or math expertise as part of their daily lives.

In 2021, three Monday-Friday weeks are currently scheduled:

  • June 21-25
  • July 12-16
  • July 26-30

Each camp will serve approximately 300 campers from all over California.

Students at participating schools are nominated by their teachers. Parents can contact the middle school guidance counselor or science teacher or their local branch to see if their school is participating. The nomination and selection process will begin after January 2021.

“I had always been worried about going into a male-dominated field,” said one camper in Washington. “Tech Trek has made me feel more confident about my abilities in STEM and has made me want to follow my dreams of becoming a medical engineer.”
– Former Tech Trek Camper

At Tech Trek, girls are immersed in a world that empowers and encourages them to think about themselves as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer specialists.

Tech Trek is a 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 a university campus where camps are held.

Tech Trek is a project of AAUW California.

Where do we find our campers?

All girls attend Tech Trek camps with sponsorships provided by AAUW California branch members, working with participating middle schools in their area. Seventh grade science and/or math teachers at these schools recommend camper candidates who must then pass through an extensive qualification process that includes an application, an essay, and a personal interview. Camp curriculum is targeted specifically at girls entering 8th grade.

AAUW branches are not always able to work with every local school, either because the principal, counselors, and/or teachers choose not to, or because there are too many schools and too few sponsorships available in the local area. Girls must attend the camp at which the local AAUW branch has made reservations.

Organizations, unions, groups of teachers, etc., may become Tech Trek sponsors by raising funds for a specific group of students. Contact the coordinators at techtrek@aauw-ca.org for details. Parents cannot pay for their daughters to attend Tech Trek, all campers must attend a participating California school.

What is Tech Trek?

Since 1998 AAUW Tech Trek camps have been designed to help girls continue their interests in science, math, engineering & technology (STEM) exploration and learning, through the tricky years when new distractions enter their lives. Studies have shown that girls’ interests can be sustained if they are exposed to the careers available to women in science today. Tech Trek provides some of that exposure.

We hope they will consider entering the STEM fields which are currently under-represented by women. (See Why So Few, a recent AAUW study: www.aauw.org/research/why-so-few/)

Also, a week’s stay on an exciting college campus helps girls picture themselves on such a campus and visualize college in their future. This is especially important for girls whose family members have not gone to college or university.