What is Tech Trek?
Focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Tech Trek is a weeklong residential summer camp held on eight different California college campuses and at universities and colleges in nine other states. With the help of our generous community, including businesses, foundations, and private individuals, AAUW Nevada County Branch has been sending local girls since Tech Trek began in 1998 and has sent more than 120 local girls since then. Currently, the AAUW Nevada County Branch provides sponsorships for seven girls each year to the Tech Trek @ UC Davis camp.
Designed for girls who will enter eighth grade in the fall, the goal is to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence and encourage them to consider and explore academic and career possibilities in STEM fields. Through hands-on problem solving and encounters with women role models in STEM, AAUW Tech Trek helps girls see their futures while having nonstop fun. For many girls, the weeklong camp sparks their curiosity and places them on a path toward success.
All campers are nominated by their seventh-grade math, science or technology/computer teachers for sponsorships provided by their local AAUW Branch. The girls complete an application, write an essay, and are interviewed by AAUW Nevada County Tech Trek Committee Members who make the final selection. The branches fund the sponsorships that cover the cost of the camp, including on dorm and dining common as well as educational materials, etc. Each camper’s family is responsible for a small fee which is due upon the camper’s selection.
Find out more about what happens at AAUW Tech Trek at UC Davis: Link to https://techtrek-davis.aauw.net/
Why Tech Trek?
Research findings have shown that middle school is a critical time when girls tend to stray from studying math, science, and technology. It is clear that we need to ensure those girls who are interested can and will pursue these areas without any barriers. That’s where Tech Trek comes in. Tech Trek is packed with hands-on experiments and learning experiences, including related field trips, guest presentations by professional women, and the chance to live on a college campus.
What do former Nevada County Tech Trekkers say about their Tech Trek experience?
“I walked into Tech Trek as an eager girl hoping to learn more about STEM and do more hands-on activities, but I came out a confident young lady who has learned more about the world and all the opportunities it holds. Tech Trek is an extraordinary camp that changed my life, and will change other girls, too.” Keegan
“It was one of the defining moments that motivated me to become a highly educated and successful young woman. This camp was also my first real experience to the college life and stepping out on my own. Gaining a new perspective on society and my peers instilled a drive to get to college and push myself outside of my comfort zone. There were so many attributes of the program that I carry throughout my daily life. That confidence of being an educated woman is key.” Claire
“My experience at Tech Trek was simply amazing. It opened my eyes to the world of science and all the possibilities. I think it did a great job in awakening a great passion for science in me. I owe my success to the passion and drive instilled in me during my Tech Trek camp experience.” Karrie
“To me Tech Trek was as much of a social experience as it was an academic achievement. It helped me to grow in many ways including helping me to realize what opportunities were available to me. It also exposed me to material that I would have never had access to in grade school or high school. I also appreciate that I had the chance to participate in this program because it made me realize that I could achieve more than I knew I ever could and it also helped me to realize that hard work does pay off.” Alexis
What is the role of the AAUW Tech Trek Committee?
Committee members take part in local Tech Trek selection process activities, such as:
- Building program awareness with school science, math, technology teachers who nominate students
- Reviewing nominees’ applications and essays
- Interviewing nominees and selecting finalists
- Raising funds to cover Nevada County girls attendance costs
- Recognition and informational events for trekkers, teachers, sponsors