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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Girl power! — Tech Trek program inspiring young women to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and math | The Union of Grass Valley

It's an experience money can't buy, as The Union of Grass Valley reports.

Breanna Sanders, a Lyman Gilmore student, focuses on her application development core class project at the 2016 Tech Trek.
Photo: Submitted to The Union
Girls attending a week-long summer camp at UC Davis must be nominated by their teachers, survive a rigorous application process, and thereby earn the $900 tuition paid by the local branch of the American Association of University Women.

"Parents can't buy this for their daughters," said Martha Rees, camp co-director and AAUW member. "There are a lot of camps out there that parents can pay for. This is something girls have to earn."

The camp is called Tech Trek. It encourages middle-school girls to excel in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Those STEM fields are where the jobs are, but women aren't.

Tech training
Nearly 100 girls from all over Northern California will live together on the UC Davis campus next month. They'll participate in hands-on learning, including experiments, workshops, field trips, and other activities. Tech Trek also introduces girls to women role models working in STEM careers...

The camp encourages girls to envision themselves as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, computer programmers, chemists, and specialists in related careers. Tech Trek was founded in 1998 with one camp at Stanford University. There are now 10 camps each summer at eight California universities, as well as another 10 camps in eight other states. The local American Association of University Women branch has sent more than 100 girls to Tech Trek over the past 10 years.

Campers are all entering eighth grade in the fall. AAUW research showed that's when girls' interest and participation in STEM fields wane. The girls are nominated by their math, science, and technology teachers at public middle schools across Nevada County. Those nominated assemble an application that includes an essay. The girls are then interviewed by a panel of AAUW members, and seven to eight girls are selected.