Empowering Young Women
Tech Trek 2022. Selection letters were sent out to the seven local girls who were chosen to attend this year’s Tech Trek “virtual camp” at UCSD.
Each girl will receive a robotics kit with all the necessary supplies, so they don’t have to purchase anything. Kits will be hand delivered to each participant before the start of camp. Over 200 girls across California have signed up to attend this year’s virtual camp. The exact schedule of camp courses and activities is still being finalized, but we expect it to be similar to last year.
Tech Trek is an AAUW sponsored math/science camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. This one-week summer camp is backed by AAUW’s research and designed to make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects exciting and accessible to girls in middle school – the age when girls’ participation in these fields statistically drops. Each year we interview girls from three of the middle schools in the Poway Unified School District and choose six to sponsor for this fun and educational summer camp for girls.
At Tech Trek, girls are assigned to a math or science core class, and spend a week learning about their field, doing hands-on experiments and working with other girls under the instruction of credentialed, female middle school teachers and of women currently engaged professionally in math, science, or technology fields. For many girls, the week long camp sparks their curiosity and places them on a path toward success.
If you know a young woman who would be interested in participating in our 2023 camp session and will be entering eight grade in the fall in the Poway Unified School District area*, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
* Camps are held during the summer. Eligible participants will enter 8th grade the school year immediately after.
STEM Company Tours for our Tech Trek Girls
Our Tech Trek girls would like to keep in touch with each other, to continue their Tech Trek friendships and keep motivated about STEM.
We can help them do that!
We are starting out by planning an event for the girls to gather in person, socialize, learn about a STEM subject and keep in touch with our branch.
We would like to take the girls on a tour of local STEM companies, showing them how they, too, can work in STEM fields some day. At each event we will tour one company, plus have time for travel to and from, socialization and maybe sharing snacks or a meal.
This is where we need your help. Do you have a friend, family member or neighbor who works in a STEM field and who might be interested in giving a tour of their workplace to the Tech Trek girls? Perhaps a veterinarian’s office? Engineering firm? Chemistry lab? No company is too large or too small. The tour groups would be small, probably about 5-7 girls, plus a few branch leaders. A female tour guide would be ideal. Our first company tour will be held in January.
Please let one of our branch coordinators know of any companies (or contacts at one of the local colleges/universities) you recommend. We will contact them and start making connections to help our Tech Trek girls. You may contact us at email@example.com
Heidi Dalvie, Ellen Dillon, Debbie Lewis
Poway-Penasquitos Branch Tech Trek Co-Coordinators
Past Tech Trek Camps
Tech Trek “Virtual” Camp – 2020/2021
With the cancellation of the traditional, in-person Tech Trek camps in 2020 due to the pandemic, creative minds rose to the challenge and put together a “virtual” camp. The “virtual” camp allowed 40 girls to attend Tech Trek 2020 from August 3-7, 2020 from their computers at their own homes. The “virtual” camp was a great success!
When the 2021 Tech Trek residential camp was also cancelled, the “virtual” Tech Trek camp was expanded into 2021 and the invitation to attend was expanded to Tech Trek selected girls from the whole state of California. There were over 300 girls in three different camp weeks, one in June and two in July 2021. AAUW members from area branches, including three from our branch, volunteered to help as “Build Coaches” or “Social Coaches” during the camp. The camps taught the girls robotics and coding. The participant girls were delivered kits with all of the materials in advance of the camp. Throughout the course of the week, each camper created personalized hats with pieces that moved and lights that flashed. Each of the girls made a short video of themselves presenting their hats, which was consolidated into a video program presented to all campers on their last day of camp.
Here is a link to the videos of our girls giving their presentations at the end of camp.
Dr. Mary Isaac (the director of the 2020 and the 2021 camps), AAUW, and Qualcomm worked together to create these alternative camps.